Gov. DeSantis dismisses ‘very partisan’ Senators’ complaints about Florida unemployment system
Gov. Ron DeSantis ranks among the bottom of battleground state Governors on thei COVID-19 responses. Image via WLRN.

DeSantis_newsconference
Complaints are 'partisan," DeSantis said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was unflappable when asked his thoughts on two U.S. Senators looking into Florida’s “uniquely poor” unemployment insurance system.

The Republican Governor, responding to a Tampa Bay Times story denoting claims of the unemployment system’s “abject inability” from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Ron Wyden, essentially dismissed the inquiry as partisan.

“Florida’s performance has proved uniquely poor in its abject inability to assist millions of Florida residents who have applied for and continue to await unemployment benefits,” they wrote U.S. Labor Department Inspector General Scott Dahl.

“Are they U.S. Senators from Florida,” DeSantis asked rhetorically, laughing, knowing that Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott would be unlikely to make such a play.

“I’ve never heard of partisan politics in Washington D.C. before,” the Governor quipped. “Oh my goodness, can you imagine that?”

“Look,” DeSantis added, “these guys are very partisan. That’s all they’re doing.”

Schumer and Wyden sent a letter requesting an investigation into the federal agency’s oversight of Florida’s problems in carrying out expanded unemployment benefits under a federal-stimulus law known as the CARES Act.

In the letter, Schumer and Wyden wrote that in addition to “repeated crashes and glitches” experienced by Floridians seeking jobless benefits, “inaction from both current and past gubernatorial administrations in Florida left (the state Department of Economic Opportunity) completely unprepared to respond to record increases in unemployment claims caused by a pandemic.”

“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently stated that the program was ‘designed with all these different things, basically to fail’ and acknowledged that more changes are needed,” Schumer and Wyden wrote. “Drastic improvements are needed, and it is unclear what steps are being taken immediately to mitigate the possibility of future failures in FLDEO’s (the Department of Economic Opportunity’s) unemployment processing system.”

As of Sunday, the department reported receiving about 2.35 million claims since March 15, with nearly 1.35 million “eligible” claims processed. About 1.25 million people had been paid state and/or federal benefits, while another 476,700 had been ruled ineligible for assistance.

The Governor also couldn’t give a definite timeframe as to the resolution of the state Inspector General investigation.

“It’s going to take time,” DeSantis said, describing the “procurement process” for the state’s CONNECT website. “This took place over a number of years.”

The Governor added that the state has paid more than $4.6 billion in unemployment claims.

“We’ve really been able to pick this thing off the mat,” DeSantis added, vowing that “we’re going to do more.”

DeSantis, speaking to reporters in Tallahassee last month, said he authorized Inspector General Melinda Miguel to commence an investigation into the CONNECT site, implemented during the Scott administration.

The Governor said getting answers about the site’s myriad failures was “very important for people.”

“A lot of money went into this site,” and “people want an accounting,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis has described the website variously as “designed to fail” and a “jalopy in the Daytona 500,” descriptions that failed to mollify many of those waiting to get their payouts.

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Content from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


21 comments

  • Frankie M.

    June 8, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not watching and just because they’re partisan doesn’t mean they are wrong.

    p.s. AG, can you ask Lenny if he still thinks kneeling during the national anthem is “stupid” inquiring minds would like to know? Doug Marrone is a marching king, Roger Goodell has offered up his mea culpa, Drew Brees apologized, etc. We know trump will never admit being wrong unless he’s caught on tape talking about grabbing women by the well you know. Will Lenny walk it back when he walks it out with Leonard tomorrow? Was he out there with the Jags the other day? Or does that not count as a practice?? I would like to hear Lenny say he was wr..wrr…wrrrr…wrrrooo…..wrrroooonngggg.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Margaret Blustine

      June 8, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      De santis is unflappable of myriad ongoing gexcuses of lack of performance. Of course republicansenators or house will object his incompetence to fix unemployment site he was well aware needing fixing loNguyen time ago.fake governor.over 900 new cases is horrible high number he faked by lower number he did by lower testssunday.an ongoing de antiseptic site and test amount daily manipulation.1495 1300 1400 on for 7 straight surging rm 659 averages 7 days before phase 1 now 7 day average increase over STILL 1300 daily consecutive.this upward record high 3 or 4 or 6 or 10 or 30 daily increasin new cases will continue now growing more daily.just because he scheduled for over 900 more Sunday manipulating sites is still showing huge consecutive 7 day Avg highs deadly showing hsn.com opening is causing huge NC reading surging.many othere countess not Broward and Mami now showing thousands cases in new areas.due to phase open unsafe.FLORIDA NEVER GOT OUT OF WAVE 1. WAVE 1 OUT OF CONTROL.NO FLATTENING LESS THAN 650 DAILY MONTHS AGO FEW DAYS,OF PEAK WILL HAPPEN.MORE NEW TOTAL CASES LAST 7 DAYS THAN THAN TOTAL CASES FROM MARCH TO LAST 7 DAYS. THAT’S 45 PERCENT INCREASE IN 7 DAYs OF NEW CLIMBINgames cases.next 7 days worse.he certainly did not get Ltd results 7 days.he mentioned did saturday AS HIS DETRACTING STRATEGY TO GET US IGNORE OVER 450O NEW CASES PREVIOUS 5 DAYS.HE’S SET UP USING LAWYER SNEAKYOU FOCUS ON 1 DAY STILL WAY TOO HIGH AND NEVER REFERS TO 6 STRAIGHT RECORD BREAKING DATES NEW JUNE AT 1495 1300 1400 1317.THIS IS NUMBER COUNTS PEOPLE.NEW DAILY CASES SURGING RECORD NUMBERS SINCE OPEN,PERIOD.RATE 45 PERCENT HIGHER LAST 7 DAYS HIGHEST NUMBER.HE’S TESTED 5 PERCENT.25 PERCENT LESS THAN FEDL GUIDELINES SAFE TO OPEN.NEVER MIND WAVE 2.WAVE 1 RISING HIGH WHEN HE OPENED NOW WAVE 1 TRACK RAPID UP TO CLOsE BUSINESSES FAST AGAIN.DE SANTIS like the system lawyer he is continues to avoid truth to florida but instead distracts with 1 fact abt 1 day that still had deadly new ositive cases.he enforces nothing.5 percent testing only and let loose 19 million infected unknowns and carriers now.his wimpy loose shutdown and manipulating deaths lying hiding nursing home data.and false rigged lawyer distracting daily words to fool us as HE NEVER MENTIONS THAT 8 STRAIGHT DAYS AVERAGE 130OF
      NEW CASES AND HE HAS NO PLANS RESTRICT AT THESE HUGE SURGING OUT OF CONTROL VIRUS.ITHE S NEGLIGENT CRIMINAL DELIBERATE DEFRAUDING LORIA RESIDENTS OF HIS FOCUS SHOULD EMAIL ON TOTAL NEW CASES NOW RUNAWAY VIRUS UMBERS.POSITIVITYRATE HE RIGS SO USELESS AS TAKEs PERCENT of controlled tests vs positive cases.POSITIVE TYPE OF NEW CASES IN LAST 7 DAYS IS 45 PERCENT OF TOTAL CASES IN FLORIDA.45 PERCENT INCREASE IN 7 DAY ONLY.THAT’S POSITIVE RATE OF INCREASE SINCE DEADLY OPEN.NOT HIS USELESS 2 OR 3 PERCENT RIGGED FAKE NUMBR.IS 45 PERCENT.45 PERCENT EVERY 4 WEEKS DO SIMPLE MATH.BY AUGUST NO MONEY FROM HIM NO BUSINESSES SURVIVING SUCH INCREASES.INSTEAD OF EXCUSES FOR NOT FIXING SYSTEM A YEAR AGO HE USES EXCUSES TO NOT PAY UNEMPLOYMENT.HE’S DELIBERATELY TURNED MIDDLE CLASS INTO POOR LEVEL.SO HAS TRUMP.NEITHER WANT HELP.BOTH WAnt USE our MONEY money for personal greed and for their own self centered campaign spending and lost tax revenue rather than pay us.de santis needs to stop lies and misleading sleazy tricks about surging 8 days cases And only thinget counts IS NEW DAILY CASES RECORD HIGHS STRAIGHT DAYS TO INFINITY NO.IGNORE REST CRAP HE SAYS TO DISTRACT US THAT WAVE 1 NEED CONTAINED AND OUT OF CONTROL WITH MANY NEW INCREASING OVER 1000 CASES COUNTIES LOWILL BEFORE OPENED.HE DESTROYED FLA WITH TOO LOOSE LOCKDOWN NOW COMPOUNDING WITH SURGING HIGH DAILY CASES.HE LIKE TRUMP READS IRRELEVANT SPEECHES AS BOTH IGNORE HUGE DAILY SURAGING CASES ON NOW TO IFINITY.BECAUSE NEITHER ARE DOING ANYTHINGREAT TO STOP SURGING SPREAD.NOTHING.NOTHING.NURSNG HOMES NOT MAJORITY CASES.REST OF US ARE.HE DOESN’T MENTION THAT.DELIBERATELY IGNORES MAJORITY OF CASES AND DEATHS FROM US,A SHYSTERATE.THEY LAWYER WITH HISTORY OF NO EMOTIONS,MANIPULATING.TWISTING WITHHOLDING TRUE FACTS DELIBERATELY.ONLY CARES ABT INSANE FAILING TRUMP DEADLY IDEAS KILLING AMERICA.NATION WILL DIE.WORST IN THE WORLD.FLORIDA HAS MORE CASES AND DEATHS THAN MANY COUNTRIES.IS 7TH WORST AS ESSENTIAL IN NATION.SOON 2ND AT RATE DE SANTIS IGNORING OUT OF CONTROLL NANOPARTICLE VIRUS SPREAD BY BREATHING TALKING IN HUGE NUMBERS.HESURGING A CORRUPT LIAR SYSTEM LAWYER WHO IS SENDING FLA PEOPLE AND ECONOMY NOW FAST TO DEATH FOR BOTH.THE GRAPH SHOWS IT.HIS STATE DOH REPORTS SHOW IT.FLORIDA’S ONE OF HIGHEST WORST STATES OUT OF 50 SHOWS HOW HE BY LYING MANIPULATING distracting ignoring daily new cases escalating I his remarks tries to fool us.he doomed fla to appease a criminally insane trump.both will lose BECAUSE DAILY EVERY AMERICAN CAN SEE HOW BOTH FAILED WITH LIES EXCUSES.AS WE DIE MORE.DON’T GET UNEMPLOYMENT AS THEY LIE.LOSE JOBS BECAUSE THEY WOULDN’T USE OUR MONEY AND OUR COUNTRIES RESOURCES TO STOP VIRUS IS FEBRUARY.THEY BOTH KNEWING AND NEITHER ACTED BUT FED US LIES.NOW LOOK AT THE TRUTH IN AMERICA AND FLORIDA THEY LIED TO HIDE.NOW IN THE OPEN DISCLOSING WHAT THEY BOTH DID TO US DELIBERATELY
      People have no jobs,food and live in terror.the truth is all around us of both their place to do to us.over personal gain and greed they soulless ly debliberatelyou still try to mislead us.BUT WE SEE FLORIDA’S NUMBERS WE SEE AMERICAS
      NUMBERS.everything they say is crap.just look at the numbers and ignore their baloney.and get rid if both of them as too self centered too corrupt to lead anything.they get more corrupt aND soulless daily hiding in their safe cocoons as they murder us

      • Duck Dunn

        June 10, 2020 at 6:44 am

        All that verbage just to say blah blah blah. I live in Florida, things are fine. Go beat some other dead horse.

        • Bob

          June 10, 2020 at 10:58 am

          I live in Florida as well! And our unemployment system is totally broke! My wife applied on line April 10th, went to check the status a month later. Was told it was flagged as fraudulent, you would of thought they would have called and said something! She was told to send a copy of drivers license and ss card. Have not heard a word. She has tried calling everyday, and being on the phone all day long. Every time she does reach someone, they tell her to call another number. Need to train their employees on how to resolve issues.
          So don’t say everything is fine in Florida!

        • Julio Melendez

          June 10, 2020 at 8:14 pm

          I live in Orlando the Connect system is F-up it has been since Scott was governor what did it cost over 64 millions it was design to not help you or count you

  • Ocean Joe

    June 8, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    Pitiful that Florida’s own senators don’t care about our unemployment system’s failure or the people who are hurting because of it. Then again, since Uncle Fester is the originator of the mess, he’d rather squawk about China than make sure unemployed Floridians have enough to eat, or make the rent, or the car payment. How did this thing get elected?

    • Amanda

      June 8, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      We call him Senator Voldemort.

      • Katrine Stevens

        June 9, 2020 at 9:25 am

        I have been oow 2 months. Only one unemployment payment. I have been given an incorrect number from their staff that has taken 7 hours to address. They change pmt method indiscrimately. This is abusive evil behavior. It is worse than 2008 crisis
        President Trump needs to wake up millions who switched from democrat’s to vote for a smart business person are shocked. Additionally, late payments cost the victum “through no fault of my own” money and time. The extra $600 a week for only 3/29/20 to 7/31/20 if and when paid these are months behind too in Florida do not make up for no income for months and time lost. Plus 60 to 80 percent of unemployment money is not full salary. With the brilliant computer Giants in the USA where is the fix it Trump style. Trump must help if he wants to WIN.If he can organize medical products he can aid his country person’s. Plus Trump’s sites now in Florida do not allow one to enter donations.

  • Denise Bearden

    June 9, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    Have not received any money state or federal for over 3 weeks now. How can Florida get away with this? I don’t have children or a spouse and I am getting worried. I can not imagine the people who have families and this state can do this to people. Quit worrying about opening amusement parks and help the people now.

  • Michael Bennett

    June 9, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    A.G. Gancarski, did you challenge him on this? Or just let him say his propaganda? Obviously the unemployment system does not work for most Floridians.

  • Bob

    June 9, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    My wife and I submitted an electronic application back on April 10th. Got no responses for over a month, we decided to call and check on the status of her application. Took all day, and several unemployment specialist, and the answer we got from 4 of them was we can’t help you, call this number! Over and over, call this number! Then on the 2nd day, a few hours later she reached someone that was will to do a little work. He said he couldn’t figure out why her account kept saying invalid ss #, and claim#. Then he got his support. Which didn’t know as well, so she contacted the a computer person and he said that her claim had been flagged for fraud! Another two days on the phone trying to reach the fraud dept. When we finally reached a real person, she said that we needed to call someone else! Said no, we were told to contact this number for help. She finally told us to send in a copy of her drivers license along with a copy of her social security card. Then gave us an email to send in the copies. Never heard a word, here it is Jone 9th now and still get the runaround! She has been on the phone for the last 3 days, all day long listening to that damn recording saying how they are here to help! My Ass! After waiting about 2 hrs., someone picks up the phone then click! Hangs up, this happened 3 times now. This system is so broke, my wife started back to work yesterday, after loosing everything, and has never received a dime, or a call from DEO! This is bullshit to pay into this system and can’t find anyone that can help! Most of them can’t help because they are not trained to do so!

  • Gregory Kelley

    June 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    April 2 I filed a claim. It took 9 days to reset my pin. I have been disqualified for 10 weeks the reason is I didn’t job search. But you don’t have too. What I joke now I started receiving $600 every Tuesday for about 6 weeks now for the last 3 weeks nothing. They say it’s biweekly now. 3 weeks without a payment is not biweekly. I have called my state representative office and the governor office.Today my state representative office told me that well at least you won’t get evicted until the end of June…. These people are a joke. And to think that I am a republican maybe I won’t be much longer…. Who pays there salary??? WE DO!!

  • Dustin

    June 9, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    74 Days ago (march 27) I applied for benefits with the FLDEO. I was a regular wage worker in the state for the past 5 years. To this day i have not received a cent of fed or state payments. Im losing my apartment.

    • James

      June 11, 2020 at 10:12 pm

      Im in the same boat,it’s been 3 months, i have not receive not one check from state or fed yet, all my wks claims was disqualified, but im eligibility for benefits, as of 6/12/20,still no state or fed, but people’s are getting over payment i feel the same somebody said in one those post, they must paying people by race,yes im african american, thanks rick scott

  • Steven Gabriel

    June 9, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    And that’s because you People let DeSantis get away with thus Shit. Kick him out of Office. He Lies all the Dang Time to make the Feds believe his Crap. We the People are Fed Up. I applied back in March. To this Day!! NOTHING! I’m already back at Work. Impeach DeSantis! U know what I want to see? The Percentage of RACES of People that RECIEVED Unemployment!!!

  • Rachel Stevens

    June 10, 2020 at 8:05 am

    I been living and working in this country for 40 years and a citizen; the pandemic hits; not a fault of my own. I took sick, unable to work, apply for unemployment only to be told I’m ineligible. I thought it’s was because the computer cuts off during my application. I since then sent in a paper application April 20th and cannot get any information about it’s status.

  • Pamela C

    June 10, 2020 at 8:41 am

    VOTE…if you want change, VOTE. Eventually the politicians will realize that if they dont do what’s right by the people they will not have their jobs long. The power is in the VOTE!!!

  • Gregory Houston

    June 10, 2020 at 10:15 am

    It’s a damn shame how working class and lower income citizens – “That’s Right, I said “CITIZENS…”, are being treated,lied to and being mis-informed by those we elected to represent us no matter which side of politics they and we represent. One things for sure is American’s are sick and tired of this bull***t and are standing together “UNIFIED” once again for change. Look out politicians,the voters you had are slowly turning their backs on “YOU”

  • Corinne

    June 10, 2020 at 11:56 am

    ron desantis is a male karen

  • David Hooper

    June 11, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    The last payment I’ve gotten was May 19th. Right now my car is past due, ATT bill is past due and my mortgage is 2 weeks behind. The system says I am still active and eligible and I claimed my weeks. Not sure what to do. I have a 2 year old to support.

  • Glauco Ortolano

    June 12, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Of course both Florida Senators, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, have not publicly condemned the corrupt Florida Unemployment website. Rick Scott himself ordered the website to be corrupted with the sole intention of denying benefits to the needy. Marco Rubio has publicly said that he thinks $600/week is too high of a benefit. Only a corrupt government can create such a corrupt system. It’s pure thievery at the highest level. I hope Floridians will wake up and start voting each of these heartless men out of office. As for me, CORRUPT REPUBLICANS NEVERMORE!

Comments are closed.


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