SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Thursday night, California Assemblyman Jim Patterson continued his barrage on the Employment Development Department.
“This is bureaucracy at its worst and it’s being led by bureaucrats at their worst,” the Republican from Fresno said.
Patterson said he wants the EDD director out, calling for an audit of the department.
“Every week 11 million Californians call into the EDD and try to get some sort of answer and the EDD is able to answer 5% of those. That is an absolute failure,” Patterson told FOX40.
They are struggles that Californians, like a couple from Tuolumne County, said they have been having. They told FOX40 weeks ago their frustration was building.
“You expect that you can call them on the phone and nothing, nobody,” said Bill Garcia, whose wife applied for unemployment.
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a strike team to look into issues at the EDD during the current pandemic.
FOX40 has also received numerous emails from viewers with the same problem.
One woman said she has tried multiple hours a day for weeks to talk to someone on the phone, all without any luck.
For Patterson, the first step toward change would be to bring in a non-state worker to head the department.
“Whistleblowers from the inside came forward and said the administration the people in charge are the ones that are creating the problem,” he said.
A spokesperson for the EDD recently told FOX40 that they are in the process of hiring 5,000 workers to help handle the large volume of calls.
Patterson said he has already received some resistance in his attempt to audit the EDD but added that was expected and also occurred when he sought audits in the past.