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As jobless claims skyrocket to new heights nationally amid the coronavirus pandemic, Florida officials are reporting that thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of newly unemployed Floridians have been unable to access desperately needed jobless benefits because of a broken state claims system. And that was the point, according to an adviser to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who explained that former governor Rick Scott (R), now a U.S. senator, deliberately designed the online system to “make it harder for people to get and keep benefits so the unemployment numbers were low to give the governor something to brag about.”
The above excerpt was original published in The Washington Post.
But while Florida leaders appear to have taken extraordinary measures to block workers from accessing jobless benefits, in many ways, the result is the logical conclusion of a nefarious playbook that GOP lawmakers have used for years to make accessing bedrock safety net programs as difficult as possible.