Florida unemployment: Who’s to blame for system failures?

Washington

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Florida’s unemployment system is buckling under the weight created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The system was taken offline several days for critical upgrades, forcing more than 250,000 rejected workers to reapply.

“None of these systems were designed for this number of people,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said Thursday.

Scott was governor when the state implemented the current system with requirements many are now struggling to meet.

“Do you feel in some ways responsible for any of this, or what would be your response to some of these people going through this?” Washington Correspondent Kellie Meyer asked Scott Thursday in a phone interview.

“You know the way it’s set up is the way it’s always been set up,” Scott said. “People always had an obligation to look for work to the extent they can. And it was tough when I became governor and so we worked hard to make sure that people could get jobs.”

Florida Congressman Charlie Crist said Thursday, “there has to be some accountability.”

Crist (D-FL) awarded the contract for developing the system when he was governor but left office years before it was rolled out.

“If the system didn’t go into effect, there would be no way to find out what was wrong with it until that would occur,” he added.

Neither Scott or Crist accept any responsibility for the system failures. Another Florida lawmaker just wants a solution.

“I understand they’re trying to fix it but they need to redouble their efforts,” Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL) said.

Castor, who represents Tampa, said her constituents are fed up with the obstacles.

She’s worried that even when the benefits go through they won’t be enough for Floridians to survive this crisis

“Florida is the stingiest in the entire country when it comes to the state benefit, it is only $275 a week,” she said. “Most states are well beyond that.”

Both Castor and Crist are calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue an executive order expanding unemployment benefits.

LATEST ON FLORIDA’S UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEMS:

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