Once again, California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) has failed unemployed Californians. Media outlets report that the state agency’s website went down at some point over the weekend and is still unable to process claimants’ information today.
Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) released the following statement:
“EDD’s page on ‘isitdownrightnow’ says it all. The agency’s IT is so dysfunctional it had to create a page so Californians can track whether the website is actually down or it is just so pathetically slow a normal person would assume it was. Under the leadership of this current Administration, EDD has continued to fail. Today is no exception," said Wilk. “The IT problems at EDD are legendary, but didn’t even garner a mention in the Governor’s State of the State and sadly millions of Californians are out of luck on getting their benefits.”
Timeline of Senate Republicans' EDD Actions:
-April 2020: Senate Republicans wrote a letter warning Governor Newsom about the failures of the EDD after hundreds of thousands of jobless Californians reached out to legislative offices seeking help with their unemployment claims.
-June 2020: Republicans asked for an independent audit of the EDD through the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC). Democratic members of JLAC canceled a crucial hearing in August, which would have been an opportunity to review the EDD audit request.
-Signed by Republican members from both the Assembly and Senate, the letter to JLAC was a bicameral effort to demand answers from EDD.
-July 2020: Members of the Senate Republican Caucus requested that Governor Newsom staff EDD 24/7 to help clear the backlog.
-August 2020: Senate Republicans joined a coalition of legislators delivering another letter to the Governor demanding that he take action to improve EDD operations.
-September 2020: Members of JLAC approved an audit of the EDD that Senate Republicans joined in requesting.
-November 2020: District Attorneys announced a major unemployment fraud scheme operating in and around California’s prisons. In a letter to Governor Newsom, Senator Shannon Grove requested adequate support for DA’s across the state so they can investigate and prosecute the high number of EDD fraud cases.
-December 2020: Senator Shannon Grove introduced SB 39 to mandate crosschecking of prisoner information with unemployment claims and Senator Scott Wilk introduced SB 58 to require EDD to stop including full social security numbers on their mail, which have put tens of millions of citizens at risk or identity theft.
-January 2021: Senate Republicans led an effort to call for an immediate oversight hearing on the EDD following a scathing State Auditor report
-February 2021: Senate Republicans warned governor about victims of identity theft and urged him to promptly help them so that they can avoid tax liabilities for unreceived benefits; Senator Shannon Grove and Senator Jim Nielsen presented solutions to the Senate Budget Subcommittee #5 to reform the state’s failed Employment Development Department (EDD).