May 8, 2020

Governor DeSantis: Floridians Deserve a Better Safety Net [Florida Phoenix]

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

One month ago, we sent a letter along with 44 partner organizations to Gov.  Ron DeSantis, urging for more action to strengthen our safety net programs to help families survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, we haven’t heard anything in response — and while the governor’s office and state departments have taken some steps in the right direction to expand access to basic needs, as outlined in an April 30th announcement from the governor, there is much more that should be done to help Floridians weather this crisis.

There are now over 2 million people in our state that have applied for unemployment benefits—one in five working people. This is more than the entire population of Broward County. Many will need safety net programs to avoid hunger, stay well, and make ends meet.


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