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News

Rick Scott’s poverty problem

Recent issues with unemployment website and urine testing draw an insensitive picture

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Anyway, Scott has stood firmly by his urinal, insisting that his bullheaded actions have always been “fundamentally about protecting the well-being of Florida families.” Only the math was never on his side. When he and Republicans in the Legislature did get their snob-snot way for a few months, only 2 percent of those tested came up positive, and most of those were with just marijuana – hardly worth the $118,000 in public money that it cost to make that opposite-day point. Regardless, in the wake of the latest decision – and even in an election year – Scott is promising to appeal the court decision, because welfare moms are the red meat of rural Florida Republicans (except the ones on welfare).

Bully! But now Scott’s also being saddled with the Florida version of “mass software glitches” in the form of the failed Department of Economic Opportunity (ha!) website for the unemployed, CONNECT. Some 230,000 sad sacks about whom Scott probably cares very little have been unable to access their promised unemployment benefits – even through the holidays – because Florida families are always a super priority. On Jan. 2, the DEO responded to all the poor-hating press by announcing that it was going to throw more good money after bad by hiring some 330 additional people to sort through the thousands of claims (this while penalizing the website creator Deloitte by withholding payments until everything works right, mm-hmm).

“We are dedicated to making sure every claim is processed quickly, and we will continue to work until every claimant is served,” DEO executive director Jesse Panuccio told the Tampa Bay Times. All this sincere concern for the poor is getting really hard to handle.

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