California state lawmakers call for action over EDD frustrations

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — California’s Employment Development Department is under a microscope with now more than a million unemployment claims that still need to be processed.

State lawmakers are urging Governor Newsom to take more executive action on the department — some even calling for him to remove its leader.

“We’ve just not felt heard during this process,” Assemblymember David Chiu said

California lawmakers say they are the latest group to have trouble getting through to the state’s Employment Development Department.

“For the past four months our offices have been doing everything we can to get EDD to be more responsible to the needs of our constituents,” Chiu said. “But it’s incredibly frustrating and we’re at wits end.”

60 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle Wednesday sent a letter to Governor Newsom, urging him to take more action on the EDD. But beyond his newly formed strike team which aims to help technology and logistical issues plaguing the agency.

Lawmakers want more transparency, faster claim processing and better customer service at the EDD.

The letter comes days after department leadership admitted to lawmakers there are more than one million unemployment claims that still need to be processed and it could take up to six weeks for claimants to get a call back from its call center.

Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson is calling for the removal of EDD Director, Sharon Hilliard.

“This director is incompetent, needs to be replaced, has been making excuses, has been essentially untruthful, or at the very least has mislead to protect an EDD that has failed millions of Californians,” Assemblymember Jim Patterson said.

We reached out to the EDD for comment, but have not yet heard back.

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