Senate Republican Leader Grove Responds to Delayed Report on the Failures of Governor's Employment Development Department

Sunday, September 20, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) responds to Governor Newsom’s Employment Development Department (EDD) Strike Team report that shows nearly 1.6 million claims have yet to be resolved, dating back to March and April of this year and the backlog is growing by 10,000 a day.

Late Saturday night on a news-heavy day, Governor's Newsom's EDD report with findings and recommendations was released. The Strike Team recommends that EDD stop processing new claims altogether, until October 5, to fix this mess. The report was promised to Californians within 45 days of his announcement but was instead received 50 days later. 

“The constant delays and failures at the EDD highlight Governor Gavin Newsom’s inability to properly prepare for shutting down California’s economy,” said State Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove. “What did Governor Newsom expect when he closed down tens of thousands of businesses and put millions of Californians on the unemployment line?”

“Six months after the governor declared a state of emergency and now his Strike Team is issuing a report stating that EDD has yet to resolve problems on more than 1.5 million claims, call centers are overwhelmed, and verification processes are not stopping fraud. Some Californians have been waiting since March or April to receive help. The delays with benefits, lack of transparency from the Governor, and mismanagement at the EDD are not only disappointing, but they are insulting to the California families who so desperately need this help.”

BACKGROUND:

The Governor’s Administration and EDD staff held a conference call on Saturday at 4:00 PM, with legislative staff on the Strike Team’s EDD recommendations. Legislative staff were told that there would be more than 70 recommendations, only to find out in a news article there are more than 100 recommendations. Legislative staff also found out, through a news article that it would take the EDD four months to clear the backlog and that there are still 1.5 million unresolved claims.

In April, Senate Republicans warned Governor Newsom about the failures of the EDD after hundreds of thousands of jobless Californians reached out to Republicans seeking help with their unemployment claims. Click here to read April EDD letter.

In June, Republicans asked for an independent audit of the EDD through the 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 is a bicameral effort to demand answers from EDD. Click here to read the JLAC letter.

In August, legislative Republicans joined Democrats in delivering another letter to the Governor demanding that he take action to improve EDD operations. Click here to read August EDD letter.

In September, members of JLAC approved an audit of the EDD. Click here to read JLAC approval letter.