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Bill to change unemployment compensation to reemployment assistance clears House

In a unanimous vote, the Florida House voted to rebrand the state’s unemployment compensation program as a “reemployment assistance” program. 

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota passed with bi-partisan support, although some Democrats urged lawmakers to aggressively publicize the name-change, to keep people from falling through the cracks.

"I do hope that one of the outcomes of this legislations is that we really make an effort in rebranding the name,” said Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach. “Unemployment is much different from what we’re changing it to, and I hope that none gets lost trying to find the phone number or the website.”

The bill also requires the Department of Economic Opportunity to give unemployment compensation seekers an initial skills test, score them, and offer free training to workers who score low on the test.

Here’s our original blog on the measure, which is advancing in the Senate.