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Senator Stewart, District 13 — Press Release


May 5, 2020

CONTACT: Dustin Paulson, 850-487-5013

Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) Responds to Governor's Press Conference on Unemployment

ORLANDO, FL – “The Governor needs a gut check!

“While we heard all about the problems faced by the state and why unemployment checks have been held up, the people were left without the hard answers they need, and wondering if they are a priority or just a statistic and how much longer they’ll be left hanging.

“I hoped we would hear that the state had paid all eligible claims from March and April and was taking a second look at all ineligible claims and communicating with those individuals about specific issues with their applications. I hoped we would hear a firm timeframe for when people could expect resolution to the issues that have held up their payments for so long.

“The governor talked about hiring more people to answer the phones and told people to call with questions. I hear from people every day who still can’t get through on the phone, and even when they reach a live person after hours on hold, they are given incorrect information or told to call a different number.

“This is not relief for the unemployed.  Floridians who have lost their jobs thanks to the coronavirus know they’ve earned these unemployment benefits. They know that there’s a growing pot of money, sitting in a bank in Tallahassee, earning millions of dollars in interest for the state while their applications are being rejected as ineligible. And they know that the only thing that stands between them and making a rent payment, a mortgage payment, or paying for their family’s groceries is the governor and his inept administration.

“I have constituents who have been waiting for 8 or 9 weeks, growing more and more desperate or disillusioned. We need to see urgent action from the governor, not more diagnosis of a problem we all know exists.

“No more excuses - tell us how you will get the money to the people of Florida.”