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LAO Critical Of California’s Unemployment Response

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Sacramento, CA — California’s Employment Development Department is facing more criticism.

The non-partisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office put out a report stating that during the pandemic, six million Californians had benefits delayed or improperly denied.

There was widespread fraud reported initially, and in response, the LAO argues that there was too much emphasis put on preventing further bad actors, and not enough on getting benefits to those who need them.

Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk has put out a statement in response, arguing “Government incompetence caused the problem, and the governor’s refusal to fix it just made it worse. Now our job creators are stuck footing the bill while families are left with mountains of debt because of this government-created crisis. California claims to be the technology capital of the world. It’s time state leaders demanded better IT from its state agencies.”

The Employment Development Department has stated that California paid around $20 billion in fraudulent benefits during the pandemic, with a majority related to a federal program that has since ended, aimed at independent contractors the self-employed.