Smaller stimulus checks could further stall Florida’s already slow economic recovery, experts say

Smaller stimulus checks could further stall Florida’s already slow economic recovery, experts say

ORLANDO, Fla. — Republican leadership in the Senate blocked an effort by House Democrats Tuesday to increase the size of individual stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000.

For the thousands of Central Floridians who remain out of work or behind on their bills, the latest stimulus should continue the economic recovery, but experts warn it’ll be slow and will likely require additional spending by congress.

READ: Stimulus checks: Who gets one, how much, and when?

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“We have this fundamental problem that keeps shocking the economy over and over again,” Jonathan Bydlak of the R Street Institute says. “In this case, it’s not being able to get a virus under control.”

Central Florida resident Javier Lopez worked for a company transporting people from Orlando International Airport to the cruise lines, but has been out of work since March when ships stopped sailing.

“By the time things pick back up, I’m going to be so far behind,” Lopez says.

Central Florida still leads the state in unemployment.

A stimulus package that includes three more months of unemployment payments and $600 checks to most Americans is an indication that many of the problems of the spring are still present.

Bydlak notes that the stimulus, coupled with COVID-19 vaccine distribution- also part of the stimulus package- should continue the economic recovery, but it will be slow, and may require continued spending by congress into 2021.

“I think what we’ve seen over the last few months is what we’re likely to see in the next few months...and that is a slow, maybe methodical recovery,” Bydlak says.

As for increasing the size of stimulus checks, Senate leadership would only say that it would begin a process to look at it.

While that doesn’t rule out larger stimulus checks, it certainly makes it more likely than not that the checks that’ll be sent next month will be just $600.