Home>Articles>Assembly Democrats Kill EDD Reform Bills Despite $31 Billion in Fraudulent Payments

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Assembly Democrats Kill EDD Reform Bills Despite $31 Billion in Fraudulent Payments

‘We passed a lot of reform bills, they’re in the senate – these were duplicative’

By Katy Grimes, August 26, 2021 5:18 pm

Despite $31 billion in fraudulent unemployment payments during the statewide COVID lockdown of businesses, three Republican reform bills to address the rampant fraud and mismanagement that has plagued the California Employment Development Department (EDD) were shelved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair, effectively killing the bills.

Assembly Appropriations Chairwoman Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) responded: “We passed a lot of reform bills, they’re in the senate. These were duplicative.”

When the Party in power want bills killed, but doesn’t want to have to vote on them, they quietly “kill” the bills by “holding them” in the Assembly Appropriation Committee.  This is how they get away with not being on the record for a controversial vote.

This bill killing comes one week after Democrats on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee delayed the hearing to investigate California’s Employment Development Department fraud of $31 billion during the COVID pandemic, scheduled for Tuesday, August 24, and have no new date set, despite Legislative Session concluding on September 10.

The reform bills held today in Assembly Appropriations Committee were:

  • SB 39 by Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) would require the EDD to cross-check prison inmate records with unemployment claims to prevent benefits from illegally going to prisoners.
  • SB 58 by Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) would require the EDD to immediately end the practice of including full social security numbers on its most frequently mailed documents.
  • SB 232 by Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Red Bluff) would implement the State Auditor’s recommendations from the previous three audits of EDD.
“California completely failed its unemployed during the pandemic and today failed them again. The Assembly Democrats hid behind a gutless procedure to shelve legislation that would have addressed many of EDD’s problems,” said Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). “These were good, common-sense solutions recommended by the State Auditor. Good solutions shouldn’t have party lines – unfortunately, that was not the case today.”
Senator Wilk said that the shelving of these three bills to reform the EDD comes just one week after another scathing audit report was released by the State Auditor. The State Auditor’s January report says EDD knew of its shortcomings, and that for the last 10 years the agency wasn’t ready for a recession or any kind of disaster, much less a statewide business lockdown.
The EDD had a backlog of more than one million claims of California residents needing to get their benefits at one time.
“I am at a loss to explain why the Democrat majority decided to hold this important bill [SB 39] that has received unanimous, bipartisan support this year,” Senator Shannon Grove said. Governor Newsom’s EDD is the most mismanaged department in the country with audits finding billions of dollars in fraud since last year’s government shutdown. SB 39 is a common-sense effort to cut down on fraud committed by state prison inmates, a policy that most states have already implemented.”
“Governor Newsom and the Democrat-controlled Legislature don’t have the courage to take on powerful bureaucracies, like the EDD – clearly a failed agency,” Senator Nielsen said. “It’s unconscionable. Of the issues that could have been fast-tracked earlier this year, fixing the EDD should have been at the top of the priority list. This shows a callous disregard for the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Californians who are unemployed because of the governor’s lockdown orders. It adds insult to injury that unemployed workers still have to pay their bills on time, while the EDD can’t even answer the phone to help them get their benefit checks.”
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4 thoughts on “Assembly Democrats Kill EDD Reform Bills Despite $31 Billion in Fraudulent Payments

  1. It’s stunning. “Duplicative,” huh? What a joke coming from this woman.
    Three completely reasonable EDD reform bills (from Republicans) were passively killed by Asm Lorena “AB5 The Job Killer” Gonzalez, just because her soul is full of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, in spite of a $31 billion EDD debacle that must be the most massive, corrupt, and far-reaching scandal in the history of California. She must be proud. And we’re so proud to have HER as a legislator in California! NOT.

  2. Unbelievable…
    Not!
    As long as we have a DEMOCRAT SUPERMAJORITY with power hungry leaders, California will NEVER be the golden state again. It has quickly become the land of LOST opportunity.

    Remember, they do not care about your LOST income, LOST jobs, LOST businesses or LOST tax dollars. They have the power to do something good, they choose to do something bad!

    Are they incompetent, lazy or corrupt?
    You decide, but let’s take one immediate action cut the head of the snake off, vote to recall Gavin Newsom on September 14th!

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