SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – The California Senate approved legislation Thursday that would implement fraud-prevention practices at California’s Employment Development Department following the loss of more than $810 million in taxpayer dollars last year.
Assembly Bill 110, authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, D-Laguna Beach, requires EDD to cross-reference incarceration records with unemployment claims to prevent the payout of fraudulent benefits.
The bill passed by a vote of 39-0.
“The government must do a better job as custodian of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” Petrie-Norris said. “Due to a loophole in the current system, hundreds of millions of dollars were lost. AB 110 will enable EDD to implement basic business processes so that unemployment funds go to those who desperately need them, not to fraudsters trying to make an extra buck.”
California law currently limits inmate information that is able to be shared with other agencies, unlike other states.
“The prison-based fraud that plagued EDD this year was outrageous and egregious,” said Senator Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica. “AB 110 addresses this issue by ensuring that EDD cross-checks unemployment claims against incarceration data. This is a simple, common sense step to prevent fraud and identity theft.”
AB 110 will now head back to the Assembly for a concurrence vote.