By June millions will lose unemployment benefits unless the senate pushes through more billions to help those without work. Florida and the rest of the country will be needing these extra benefits to help those still out of work for the past 2 years or more. For some reason this news isn't really making its rounds, no one has any clue how important this news is to the economy, if the millions of unemployed start to lose benefits come June, there is going to be an even bigger set back on this economy than there already is. From what I have read, for every $1.00 spent in unemployment benefits, $1.65 in economic activity is generated. Those numbers in my opinion are amazing. I believe billions more will be spent over the next 3-6 months increasing the unemployment benefits another 6-12 months. More than 20,000 Floridians each week stand to lose unemployment benefits unless Senate acts By William E. Gibson and Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel 3:08 a.m. EST, February 22, 2010 WASHINGTON - More than 20,000 Floridians each week will see their unemployment benefits run dry starting in March unless Congress acts to extend their aid. In response to cries for help from South Florida and around the nation, the Senate this week plans to vote on a jobs bill that would give a tax break to employers who hire those who have been out of work for at least 60 days. Senate leaders also hope to extend unemployment benefits through a separate bill, similar to one already passed by the House. But the timing and prospects for passage remain uncertain. For many of the jobless in Florida, where the unemployment rate has climbed to nearly 12 percent, delays and uncertainties in Congress have jeopardized a lifeline of aid and added to a sense of desperation. "Unless a bill is passed by Congress, my benefits will be ending in March. I have no time," said Nancy Farmer-Lanz, 49, of Delray Beach, who has been unable to replace her job as a recruiter. Farmer-Lanz moved in with a family member and is spending her retirement savings. She said she is more concerned about her unemployed friends if the extension isn't passed. "I know people who are going to be homeless," she said. Employer tax break Despite such concerns, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has momentarily set aside legislation that would extend benefits and health insurance subsidies for the jobless. He plans to bring to the floor on Monday a stripped-down $15 billion jobs bill that focuses instead on tax incentives to encourage hiring. Florida's business community has mixed feelings about the bill, which would exempt companies from paying the usual 6.2 percent of Social Security taxes on salaries for new hires unemployed for 60 days or more. "Our businesses need help just surviving," said Tamela Perdue, general counsel of Associated Industries of Florida, a business group based in Tallahassee. "For a company that is not able to expand, it doesn't help to have that tax break because they can't afford the person's salary in the first place. It's not going to be enough of a carrot." Others say the tax incentive might prompt some companies to add workers. "It's going to make a number of people sitting on the fence go and hire," said Dennis Battistella, director of workforce development for the South Florida Manufacturers Association, based in Pompano Beach. "Some companies will stick their toes in the water, and if it's a little bit warm and there's an incentive, they will hire." Legislation in the Senate would have to be reconciled with a jobs bill passed by the House in December that would extend benefits and health-insurance subsidies through the end of June. The subsidies pay 65 percent of a jobless person's insurance premiums through a program known as COBRA. Florida impact Legislation to extend benefits could potentially affect up to 736,000 Floridians now receiving unemployment benefits. Congress has extended benefits in four phases beyond the usual 26 weeks of payments. A long-term unemployed Floridian could receive up to 79 weeks of payments. The unemployed can continue receiving the basic 26 weeks of benefits and the phase of extra benefits they have entered as of Feb. 28. Unless Congress extends the law, they could not enter another phase. Those who get the health-insurance subsidy can continue receiving it for up to 15 months. But those who lose their jobs after Feb. 28 would not be eligible. In Florida, that means jobless recipients will begin exhausting their unemployment benefits at a rate of 20,000 to 25,000 a week, according to an estimate by the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation. An estimated 105,016 Floridians would run out of benefits in March and a total 415,715 by June, according to the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group in New York. "If I don't find something soon and another extension isn't passed, I don't know [what I'll do]," said Christina Mahnke, 29, who lost her job at a South Florida restaurant more than a year ago and has returned to school to become a registered nurse. Mahnke is racking up student loans while relying on unemployment benefits to pay bills and buy food for her two young children. "I'm just worried about taking care of my kids," she said.