A U.S. senator is calling for a federal investigation into problems plaguing Florida's new website for handling unemployment benefits since its launch last week.
Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, has asked the Department of Labor to investigate and make sure the state quickly fixes what has gone wrong with its Department of Economic Opportunity's new $63 million website for people to apply for unemployment compensation. It is the Labor Department that oversees programs to help American workers.
As reported by major Florida news outlets, the website that Gov. Rick Scott's administration launched last week has caused delays and frustrations among people trying to get help with unemployment benefits.
On Wednesday, Nelson asked Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez to have his department step in and investigate.
"While states administer their own unemployment compensation program they do so under the Department of Labor which oversees many of the programs our nation has for American workers, including unemployment benefits," Nelson wrote in a letter to Perez. "The main purpose behind this federal-state program is to help stabilize the economy during recessions. But it certainly won't be of much help in my state if those who have lost their jobs face protracted delays in seeking or receiving benefits."
Technical problems have reportedly frustrated many unemployed trying to use the CONNECT system featured on the website right above a picture of the governor.
A spokeswoman in the Scott administration has publicly acknowledged "some users have encountered delays and problems accessing the system.''
Source: Office of Sen. Bill Nelson