Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rick Scott Wants Mandatory Training For Jobless Benefits

Earlier this year Scott signed legislation that will make Florida the stingiest state in America for people laid off through no fault of their own. Once the law takes full effect in January, jobless Floridians will be eligible for fewer and fewer weeks of benefits as the state's unemployment rate goes down. One part of the legislation, which took effect in August, has required unemployment claimants to participate in an "Initial Skills Review" for job search assistance. The review is an online test that includes reading and math questions. Claimants have to "complete" the test but not "pass," according to an Agency for Workforce Innovation document. Scott's proposal describes training as the "next step" in reforming the state's unemployment system. The key initiative will require "unemployment recipients who fail basic job skills testing to enter a workforce training program to learn those basic skills in order to continue receiving benefits." In addition to boosting requirements for jobless seeking benefits, this year Scott required welfare recipients to submit to drug tests. The same policy, modeled on Scott's example, has been proposed in several other states.

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