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Florida senators target couch potatoes inflating state unemployment rate

Florida can save nearly $800,000 per year by adding five workers to investigate unemployment fraud, Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation unemployment compensation director Tom Clendenning told the Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee this morning.

That was welcome news for a committee eager to push couch potatoes off the rolls.

Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said he wants to know how many Floridians are turning down jobs in favor of keeping their unemployment checks. Gaetz asked AWI to "distinguish between those who can't get off the couch ... and those who won't get off the couch," Gaetz said.

Chairwoman Nancy Detert, R-Venice, said unemployment becomes a "lifestyle" after six months. "We'd like your department to get rid of the slackers and malingerers," she told Clendenning.