SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblywoman Dahle announced her co-authorship of five bills introduced on the first day of the new legislative session that seek to reform the Employment Development Department (EDD). This comes after months of backlog within the EDD, struggles with fraud affecting an estimated 350,000 Californians’ Bank of America UI debit cards, and evidence of mass fraud involving federal, state, and county inmates who have scammed an estimated $2 billion in fraudulent UI claims.
“Despite many opportunities to rectify systemic problems, EDD has failed to follow through.” Said Assemblywoman Dahle, who is co-authoring the legislative package along with her fellow Assembly Republicans. “Thus, it is time for the legislature to step in. I am proud to co-author these five bills, which will go a long way towards improving the EDD’s system of processing and distributing UI benefits. This is essential to ensure Californians can provide for their families and begin the process of recovery from the current pandemic.”
- AB 24: Requires EDD to make UI eligibility determinations within 30 days of receipt of a claim, or within 15 days following requested follow-up information from the claimant, and to notify the claimant in advance if EDD will be unable to meet either deadline.
- AB 12: Requires EDD to cease including full social security numbers in mailings to UI claimants.
- AB 23: Requires EDD to begin cross-checking UI claims information with state and county correctional inmate data.
- AB 42: Provides that it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish an advisory committee on unemployment insurance within EDD that is composed of members who represent stakeholders, and that has meeting and annual reporting requirements.
- AB 8: Gives claimants the right to choose direct deposit instead of relying on a debit card to receive benefits.
On December 7, 2020, Assemblywoman Dahle partnered with Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) in authoring a letter to Director Sharon Hilliard of the EDD and Secretary Kathleen Allison of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) regarding evidence of mass fraud among inmates receiving fraudulent UI claims. The letter urged immediate investigation, transparency to determine what went wrong, and cooperation between law enforcement, the EDD, the CDCR, and the legislature. As of December 15, 2020, the letter has gone unanswered.
Assemblywoman Megan Dahle represents the 1st Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes portions of Butte and Placer counties, along with Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou counties.