Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed 15 bills, including measures that will help upgrade Florida’s much-maligned unemployment system, regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes, and limit contributions to political committees supporting ballot initiatives.
Lawmakers passed the bills during the legislative session that ended last week, and DeSantis’ office announced the signings about 5:30 p.m. Friday without comment.
The changes to the unemployment system were part of a broad Department of Economic Opportunity bill (HB 1463) that received unanimous approval in the House and Senate. The bill calls for moving to a cloud-based online system that “provides for rapid provisioning of additional data processing when necessary.”
Lawmakers acted after the state’s CONNECT online system largely crashed last spring when it became overwhelmed with unemployment claims during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. DeSantis described the system as a “jalopy,” as the state scrambled to process claims from people who had lost jobs as businesses were forced to shut down or dramatically scale back because of the pandemic.