ORLANDO, Fla. – With thousands of Disney World workers set to be furloughed starting April 19, Gov. Ron DeSantis is considering a plan that would auto-enroll them into Florida's strained unemployment system.

  • Disney World to furlough thousands of workers on April 19
  • Florida could auto-enroll those furloughed workers into the state's unemployment system
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis mentioned the plan Tuesday during a news conference

DeSantis on Tuesday briefly mentioned the plan during a news conference, saying it "makes sense" given the anticipated influx of 70,000-plus applicants.

"We basically said OK, the system's getting crushed," DeSantis said. "We know this is coming so is there a way we can get a hold of it, maybe get the data directly from the employer and go ahead and put it through."

Essentially, information for the Disney workers could be put into the system by the state during times when fewer people are trying to use the system.

DeSantis added that auto-enrolled workers would not be given "a special place in line."

It's likely furloughed workers from other Central Florida theme parks like Universal Orlando (which is set to furlough part-time hourly employees starting May 3) and SeaWorld (which has furloughed 90 percent of its staff) could be auto-enrolled as well. 

Florida's unemployment system has been overwhelmed with jobless claims because of the coronavirus pandemic. People have reported issues with trying to sign up to receive benefits.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which runs the system that handles claims, has spent millions of dollars to fix the issues, including hiring more workers for the call center and launching a new website to keep up with demand.