Cottie Petrie-Norris

Assembly passes legislation to protect unemployment funds from fraudsters

After tens of thousands of fraudulent claims and more than $810 million taxpayer dollars lost, the California State Assembly voted to pass legislation to implement standard fraud-prevention practices at California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). AB 110, authored by Assemblywoman Cottie-Petrie-Norris, will require the Employment Development Department (EDD) to cross-check incarceration records in order to prevent paying fraudulent benefits and wasting taxpayer dollars.

“California’s unemployment benefit system has been a poster child for ‘what not to do’ nationwide,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “Without these processes in place, it is ridiculously easy for fraudsters to take advantage and steal millions of dollars. AB 110 will ensure basic business processes are implemented so these outrageous failings aren’t repeated.”

Cross-checking lists of unemployment benefit claimants against incarceration data is a common fraud prevention practice in other states. However, California law restricts the inmate information that can be shared with other state agencies. AB 110 will enable EDD to easily cross-check claimants’ information, including social security numbers, against the relevant information in the database of inmate information maintained by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and by the counties.

AB 110 is supported by CalChamber, California State Sheriffs’ Association, Orange County Business Council, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

This article was released by the Office of Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris.