Ben Marcus statement on Governor DeSantis Administration failure to handle reemployment assistance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jacalyn Crecelius
Phone: (904) 206-8483
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – April 14, 2020 – “Over the past month I have spent countless hours on the phone with district residents talking about what this quarantine and virus means to them. My team and I have been working hard to connect people to resources and be a listening ear for frustration with everything from being stuck inside to the application for reemployment assistance benefits. Those phone calls have become increasingly desperate in tone with some people going on four weeks without any sort of paycheck. People are depending on their state to step in and help and the failure to ensure those who were promised benefits can access them is deepening the economic crisis we are already in.
“$275 a week is hardly enough in 2020, but regardless when it’s the only money coming in the door it’s incredibly important to make sure there’s as little delay as possible. The Governor has been less than transparent about what’s going on, to say the very least, and phone lines continue to be slammed with people needing assistance. One of my biggest worries is what will happen to people who have already run out of money, have no access to food, bills are coming in and an extremely limited number of jobs to apply for. All in the middle of having to worry whether or not they’ll catch a potentially fatal disease. What about those with kids? The CARES Act stimulus money is thankfully showing up for many this week which will take the pressure off for a couple of weeks but that’s it. What happens after?
“To add insult to injury, only $50mil was made available for a bridge loan program for small businesses while simultaneously giving away $540mil to major corporations. The loan program reached its 1,000 application capacity with 37,000 more applications in the dustbin. $540mil could provide funding for perhaps another 11,000 businesses. Giving it away to a select few would be a huge mistake my opinion but the Governor seems set to do it regardless. Top it off with refusing to hold a cabinet meeting and get a coordinated strategy set and you have a case of classic misfeasance in my opinion. He’s either unwilling or unable to do the job necessary and we need help.
“Speaker Oliva and President Galvano must call for a special session – remote if necessary – to step in and fill the gaps showing already. We are looking at a long hard road ahead for Floridians and our legislative bodies must be proactively out in front leading the way. This crisis has demonstrated the need for more oversight over what the executive branch is doing, if nothing else. They were warned about the broken reemployment assistance website for years and downsized the department – not good ideas. We cannot wait.”
Ben Marcus is a small business owner and graduate of Jacksonville University. He lives in the Sunbeam neighborhood with his wife and three children where they attend Ahavath Chesed (The Temple). Ben believes in the power of community to solve its issues and that legislators should work collaboratively with, not act to subvert, local elected bodies. He doesn’t take money from businesses or PACs, nor does he have a political committee. Ben’s campaign for State House District 16 is focused on proving another way to run for and serve in public office is possible, where ethics and collaboration outweigh ideological purity and insular decision making.
Please visit VoteBenMarcus.com for more information about the campaign.