California Senate Republican members take another step towards reforming the Department of Employment Development (EDD) with the passage of Senate Bill 58 drafted by Republican Senate Leader Scott Wilk (Santa Clarita ), Senate Bill 39 by Senator Shannon Grove (Bakersfield) and Senate Bill 232 by Senator Jim Nielsen (Tehama). The three EDD bills were recently passed by the Assembly Committee on Insurance with unanimous support and will now head to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, where their fiscal impact will be examined.
- SB 58 (Wilk) would demand the Department of Employment Development (EDD) to stop including full Social Security numbers in his correspondence and identify fraud prevention efforts that it can adjust to improve efficiency during periods of high demand for services, and that it designate a single unit responsible for coordinating fraud prevention and aligning the unit’s missions with good fraud detection and prevention practices.
- SB 39 (Grove) would require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to reconcile inmate records with the EDD.
- SB 232 (Nielsen) would codify a number of audit recommendations to modernize ESD, including the implementation of a policy that establishes a process for periodic monitoring and analysis of why UI claimants request assistance, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of its call center operations and implementing a policy to track and monitor its first call resolution rate.
“Senate Republicans are cleaning up the mess at ESD after a year of failure,” said Senate Republicans Leader Wilk. “Republicans are leading efforts to protect unemployed Californians from identity theft, protect taxpayers and employers from billions of dollars lost to UI fraud, and better prepare for the response. our state in the next economic recession. “
The State Audit Report 2018-129, State Audit Report 2020-628.2 and State Audit Report 2020-128 / 628.1 are the respective State Audit Reports that conducted the introduction of SB 58, SB 39 and SB 232 by Senate Republicans.
In the first eight months of the pandemic, it is calculated that more than $ 10.4 billion in potentially fraudulent claims have been paid, with the most recent estimates reaching $ 30 billion by the end of the pandemic, many of which have been paid to California incarcerated people. During the same period, EDD sent 38 million emails containing full social security numbers, a three-fold increase from 2019, when the auditor identified the risk.
As the state has reopened, EDD continues to fail Californians. It was reported yesterday that the EDD backlog of Unemployment Insurance claims pending action and claims pending certification continues to grow. From June 12 to June 19, the number rose from 1,126,091 to 1,127,878. Worse, the call center reported four million calls to EDD in the last week of May, and only 6% of them have been answered.