(Sacramento, CA) – In response to the millions of unemployed Californians struggling to get ahold of California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) joined Assembly Member David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and more than fifty other legislators to urge dramatic reforms to the state’s failing EDD system.
“Thousands of Californians are sick and tired of waiting for their unemployment checks,” said Assembly Member Santiago. “We can no longer accept the fact that, in the world’s fifth largest economy, individuals and families are going months without receiving any income during a pandemic. People are jobless, without savings, and nearing desperation. We must do better, which is why we are demanding that California’s EDD system do more to meet the needs of Californians.”
In just the first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic, California’s EDD system has seen over double the cases filed in all of 2019. With more than five million EDD claims, and over 1.13 million claims yet to be processed, it is clear that EDD is in need of dire and immediate reform. In a letter addressed to the Governor, Assembly Member Santiago and other legislators provided a number of recommendations to increase efficiency and transparency of the state’s EDD. In addition to speedier processing times, calls to action include expanded responsibilities of the EDD strike team, weekly reporting requirements on relevant data to the public, and partial benefits to claimants during processing.
Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance and the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.