Letter to the Editor
April 7, 2020
The April 1 editorial “Florida called it an ‘unemployment website.” Jobless Floridians call it a hot mess. Fix it!” was wildly off the mark.
First, the CONNECT system was mandated by legislation passed before I became governor and Deloitte was chosen as the vendor by the previous administration.
Second, the editorial at first said that Politico “reported” that “Scott deliberately sought to install a system so cumbersome that it would discourage unemployed Floridians from seeking funds.” However, Politico quoted one anonymous source who is obviously has an axe to grind, who made a claim that is obviously false.
Politico published this lie without giving me or my office a chance to refute it.
Every unemployment system in the country is being overwhelmed as we face this unprecedented crisis. This is a fact. And there have certainly been problems with the CONNECT system in Florida, and in most populous states — also a fact.
Here’s an idea: We should all be working to make things better. I applaud Ken Lawson, executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity for working hard to fix the problems in the system and get people the help they need. In Congress, we passed the CARES Act, which provides an extra $600 a week and extends unemployment benefits to 16 weeks.
As governor of Florida, I led the state through many crises. Storms and mass shootings and viruses are not partisan, and it’s foolish to focus on politics and finger pointing during a crisis.
In times of crisis, real leaders don’t shirk responsibility and look for people to blame. Real leaders find a way to get the job done. I’m focused on solving problems and getting the people of Florida the help that they need.
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Washington, D.C.