Request for formal audit of unemployment insurance program put on hold

Los Angeles TimesMarch 11, 2014 

State Sen. Anthony Canella, R-Ceres, has put on hold his request for a formal audit of the state's troubled unemployment insurance program and instead thrown his support behind a less-broad version being pushed by Assembly Member Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Canella told the Times that he took the action after meeting with epresentatives of the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown.

"I have been assured that the EDD (Employment Development Department) has the

resources to remedy the problems the people of California experienced in receiving unemployment insurance payments over the past year," Canella said.

The agency during the last six months has been bogged down with computer problems that delayed unemployment insurance payments to as many as 150,000 people at one time. Its consumer phone lines go largely unanswered and at least half its denials of benefits are reversed on appeal.

Canella, however, said he now is supporting a less broad call for an EDD audit by Perea that will be heard Wednesday by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

Perea "is definitely moving forward" with his request" said spokeswoman Alicia Isaacs. The committee is expected to overwhelmingly support it, said people familiar with the issue who were not authorized to speak on the record to a reporter, the Times says.

Update: Audit faults California unemployment agency for ‘appalling’ missed opportunity to recover $516 million in overpayments

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