Ron DeSantis responds to Rick Scott: ‘Why would you have paid the $77 million?’
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 6/29/20-Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after signing the $92.2 billion 2020-21 budget Monday during a news conference at the Capitol in Tallahassee. DeSantis vetoed more than $1 billion from the spending plan sent to him by the legislature. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Top Republicans clash on CONNECT.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott made news Wednesday when he challenged Gov. Ron DeSantis to “solve problems” and “quit blaming others” for the state’s failed unemployment insurance system.

But when given an opportunity to respond to what was a personal criticism, DeSantis took the high road regarding the former Governor.

Instead of attacking in kind, DeSantis restated his case that he inherited a botched system and was doing the best he could to fix it. But serious questions remain, he said, about why the state would have paid for a system unable to handle any bump up in case load.

The Governor answered Florida Politics’ question Thursday in Jacksonville.

“On the unemployment system, the fact of the matter is the state spent $77 million on a system that was not ready for prime-time, and it’s something that we’ve had to fix,” DeSantis said.

“Now the question is, you’re going to spend $77 million for something, what are the results, and this obviously isn’t a good result for Florida taxpayers.”

“I think that people understand that when you have the economy stop, it’s tough on all these systems. But our system wasn’t really that old,” DeSantis said.

“Some of these systems are from the ’70s. This was one that was supposed to be more modern and it was only able to handle 2,500 folks. We had 100,000 people log in,” DeSantis said. “I think it’s absolutely worth looking for.”

“Why would you have paid the 77 [million]? It’s one thing if it’s on the cheap,” DeSantis said. “That’s an enormous amount of money I think for a system that clearly was not built for the long haul.”

The Governor noted the Inspector General is investigating the matter, an inquiry now months old.

While the status of the investigation is  pending, the state is about to do business with the original contractor, Deloitte, on another big ticket project: a $110 million contract to overhaul the state’s Medicaid system.

Florida Politics got one question in, and no other reporters asked a follow up, so answers to that will be down the road.

But for DeSantis, who likened the system to a “jalopy in the Daytona 500,” this isn’t over.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • John Wright

    August 6, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    No one is to blame. Who could have imagined a jump in the unemployed as huge as with the pandemic no matter the newest systems available.
    Just fix the problem now!

    • Ocean Joe

      August 6, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      Follow the pattern: Bails out of HCA and they get stuck with a record setting $1.3 billion dollars in fines and costs; Guts Florida’s water management districts science staff and Florida gets stuck with blue-green algae and millions in aquatic death and damage combined with red tide and massive loss of wildlife; then sticks the incoming governor with a ticking time bomb. Scott leaves an unmistakable trail in his wake.

      If you think no one could have anticipated our job losses, anybody could have predicted that 2501 folks might need to apply. Setting up a scheme that made it so difficult people gave up as our governor described it. Respectfully, someone is DEFINITELY to blame.

  • SMH

    August 6, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Someone please explain to me why the governor keeps holding Unnecessary public Appearances (not press conferences) as if nothing is wrong? This one, apparently here at UNF in Jacksonville? Putting more people at risk, and for what?? Meanwhile he is unavailable to share any real or reliable information or transparency. Unbelievable. He just won’t stop until he infects as many people as possible. Try more virtual media availability and transparency and fewer photo ops, GINO. Or maybe just try governing instead of talking about sports and complaining about what’s not your fault. We’ll all be better off.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 6, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    The fuming and fussing between Duffus Desantis and Nazi Rick is soooo. Entertaining ! Cheering for Duffus Desantis just cause if the unemployment system is fixed Nazi Rick will have his nose punched! Remember these are Floridians in the mist of trumpvirus pandemic with NO JOBS! NO MONEY!

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 6, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    The goptrump infighting between Duffus Desantis and Nazi Rick is entertaining ! But the fact is the system failed and Duffus Desantis seems to be trying to correct the Fing mess Nazi Rick left Floridians! These folks do not have jobs!!!!!! These folks are getting beyond desperate ! Many of these folks have lost everything! Fix the damn system Not with the same company that dud the original job!

    • MARC

      August 12, 2020 at 1:46 am

      Yo Sonja,

      Hows your Pal Andrew Gillem doing?

      What a wonderful husband & fine American.

      I heard hes running against DeSantis again in 2024.
      Looking forward to it!

      You guys keep running out GREAT candidates!

      I heard the amazing Charlie Crist is going to take on Rubio again in 2022.
      Sonja your marxist platform of defund the police, open borders, tax payer funded health care for all including illegals, abortion on demand plays well in NY & CAL but not in Florida.

      I’ll be thinking of you when Trump & the GOP wins big in November!

  • Frankie M.

    August 6, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    “Not quite ready for prime time” is an apt description for Ronnie.

  • marie melton

    August 7, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    When the state last updated the Medicaid system it was the same deal. The state offered Medicaid to all who qualified, but it was so difficult to submit the application and paperwork, that many just gave up..

    • C Hudson

      August 7, 2020 at 9:40 pm

      The bill was paid because what was ordered was delivered.

  • Sarah

    August 7, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    Rick Scott won’t admit any mistakes, plead the 5th.. is his style

  • Tom Ganski

    August 7, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Why? Because they are Republicans. Republicans’ top priority is to reduce government, make sure what is left is ineffective, and blame others for their incompetence. Watching these two argue would be entertaining were it not so pathetic.

Comments are closed.


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