Fla. Senate passes unemployment overhaul bill

— The Florida Senate passed an unemployment overhaul bill on Tuesday that ties the number of weeks benefits are available to the unemployment rate.

Benefits would be available from 12 to 26 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate.

The bill also mandates that claimants make efforts to find work, and requires recipients to take a skills review test to determine if they need additional job training.

The bill passed on a 29 to 10 vote. The House passed its version of the bill in early March, but would have to approve the Senate’s version before it would go to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.

The bill also changes disqualifying criteria for unemployment benefits, including conscious misconduct, committing a crime in connection with work, and being incarcerated.

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