Assemblyman Mike Norris delivered a strong rebuke yesterday aimed at the Department of Labor, stating, “This bureaucratic boondoggle riddled with lack of call backs, long wait times and technological deficiencies needs to be fixed now.”

Norris remarked on New York residents suffering a persistent lag in unemployment benefits.  Additionally, emphasizing that this crisis derives from a “historic pandemic and is no fault of their own.”

Additionally, Norris explained how this has impacted his office, “For the last several weeks, my office has been helping constituents who are struggling because they can’t get these critical unemployment benefits due to bureaucratic barriers.”  In response to these barriers, Norris stated, “We have been helping them weave through this awful process the best we can.  The state’s unemployment system has been a total fiasco.”

Assemblyman Norris is currently supporting a letter from leading GOP Assemblyman William Barclay to Governor Andrew Cuomo.  This letter details thoughts on possible changes within the Department of Labor in the hope of making it a more effective system.

The full letter can be found here:

Norris specified some of the changes he hopes to see going forward:

“By implementing a daily accounting of how many claims are outstanding along with deadlines to close every claim and, perhaps most importantly, giving every applicant a clear understanding of the steps and time estimates, I believe the process can be greatly improved for everyone.

“Also, it is very important to have mitigation strategies in place to deal with surges and lessen wait times. Please know I will continue calling on the administration to fix the unemployment check system and demand that New Yorkers get these benefits in a timely and more efficient basis going forward.”