State Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) is celebrating a bill that he says will implement vital reforms to the Employment Development Department (EDD).
Signed on Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, AB 56 will reportedly speed up eligible unemployment insurance claims, protect citizens from identity theft, make it harder to commit fraud against the unemployment system and ready Californians for the next economic crisis.
“We have sent a clear message to EDD with the passage of AB 56 that reforms are needed right now,” Salas said. “By passing AB 56, we are stepping up to protect taxpayers, stop fraud, improve the claims process and bring accountability to EDD. We will continue to monitor the department to make sure these reforms are implemented immediately so this crisis never occurs again.”
Salas' office elaborated that the bill aims to address many of the issues that California families deal with regarding the EDD. This includes the EDD reportedly answering only 6% of the 4.8 million calls they receive. Ten-thousands of others have also had their accounts mistakenly frozen by Bank of America, leaving them without access to their money.
The State is also frequently dealing with EDD fraud activities, which are estimated to be over $11.4 billion.
"AB 56 will address these issues by requiring EDD to create a new unit to coordinate all fraud prevention efforts, requiring EDD to obtain a list of all frozen Bank of America accounts to make sure they were not incorrectly frozen, and creating a working group to take action on expediting EDD’s claims process," Salas' office wrote.