Publication: Los Angeles Times
State lawmakers on Tuesday rejected a proposal by the governor to create a new state agency to improve working conditions in California, with opponents saying the state should first resolve serious problems that have delayed payment of unemployment benefits to many of those left jobless by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An Assembly panel recommended against creating the new department at a hearing where lawmakers noted that a backlog of delayed claims has grown in the last month.
Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the Assembly’s Budget Committee chair, agreed the time wasn’t right to create “a new bureaucracy” in the labor agency.
“Given the multitude of ongoing problems at EDD, now is not the time to transfer numerous employees from the Labor and Workforce Development Agency to a newly created department,” Ting said. “They’re desperately needed to resolve the tremendous backlog in unemployment claims, prevent fraud and implement job training programs to get people back to work.”