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Florida House, Senate approve bill to fix Florida's unemployment system

Bill is just waiting on Gov. DeSantis' signature
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Posted at 7:32 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 19:32:04-04

After the Florida House approved a bill that would fix Florida's unemployment system on Wednesday, it sailed through the Senate Thursday. Now, it is just waiting on Gov. DeSantis' signature.

Here is what's included in the bill:

  • Reorganizes the Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees unemployment
  • Increases transparency
  • Upgrades will be made to the online portal CONNECT, moving it to a "cloud-based system"

ABC Action News has been following the fallout after CONNECT failed to keep up with a surge of demand during the economic shutdown last spring.

Dozens of people from around the state reached out to ABC Action News every week. They were locked out of the site or on hold for hours, unable to get unemployment payments and unable to get any answers.

The sponsor of the bill says the goal is to never put Floridians in this position again.

“This is the help they were looking for. This is the modernization act for the Department of Economic Opportunity. It tells them no longer will we rely on servers that are bootstrapped together with duct tape in a back closet," said Sen. Aaron Bean, (R) Jacksonville.

Gov. DeSantis is expected to sign the policy once it arrives on his desk.