Vaccines, unemployment, housing, drought: Where top recall candidates stand on the issues

California’s unemployment system struggled from the onset of the pandemic, buckling beneath the stress of getting profit funds to a whole bunch of 1000’s of jobless residents and dropping billions of {dollars} to fraud. A strike workforce was appointed by the governor to make suggestions on addressing long-standing points on the company, together with outdated know-how and inadequate staffing. What steps would you’re taking to reform the Employment Improvement Division that haven’t but been taken, and the way would you guarantee unemployed Californians who nonetheless have but to obtain their advantages are made entire? Please be particular.

Cox: As a licensed public accountant and businessman, I learn about damaged programs and the best way to repair them. We are going to carry out a top-to-bottom audit instantly and proper each recognized downside. A part of the audit might be ensuring each California who deserves assist will get it, and that no fraud happens. We are going to enhance employees and replace know-how. A human being will reply the cellphone and assist somebody after they name. We are going to appoint new management who’re targeted on the purchasers and fixing a damaged system. We all know the system is damaged; the politicians simply don’t have the willpower to repair it. I do.

We can even get politics out of it. We are going to do a match of Social Safety numbers to establish those that would declare protection however are in any other case ineligible, akin to prisoners in our jails. Politics saved California from accessing federal funds for such an identical system with disastrous penalties.

Faulconer: It’s not proper that hard-working Californians can’t get the cash they should pay their payments due to incompetence or negligence. The state’s failure to modernize its know-how is a product of failed management and priorities. The Employment Improvement Division’s issues have been brewing for years, however Newsom has nonetheless not made fixing it a precedence — his plan to modernize the EDD’s outdated IT system is deliberate to take till 2027 to finish. These issues got here up within the wake of the final recession, when Newsom was lieutenant governor, but few impactful adjustments have been made throughout his decade in Sacramento.

Sacramento’s inaction will change beneath my administration. My complete plan for reforming the EDD is among the first proposals I made after I entered this race. A modernized EDD may have sturdy fraud protections, the flexibility to supply Californians direct deposit funds, automated claims processing, expanded name heart hours and an efficient on-line customer support portal.

I’ll make fixing the EDD the state’s high know-how challenge beneath my administration, dedicating one of the best minds in state authorities and fascinating the personal sector to replace its programs instantly. Modernizing its laptop programs will assist guarantee claims are processed extra precisely and effectively, so EDD can higher serve Californians.

I’ll use the complete energy of the governor’s workplace to make sure extra Californians are receiving their advantages, holding the state forms accountable each step of the way in which. I’ll present 24/7 cellphone entry for Californians till the backlog is addressed and through future instances of disaster. I can even rent extra staff to clear unemployment declare backlogs and guarantee all employees get the coaching wanted to successfully resolve instances.

Jenner: Gavin Newsom’s “strike workforce” — similar to all the pieces else he’s executed — has been a failure. Lots of of 1000’s of unemployed Californians are usually not getting the assistance they want whereas California has misplaced billions of {dollars} to fraud.

I’m a results-oriented particular person, and I’ll require the Employment Improvement Division to provide outcomes. Folks’s lives are in danger, and this kind of fraud places Californians at risk. A part of the issue is Newsom did not heed warnings of fraud earlier within the yr. As governor, I’ll take all fraud claims significantly, and every one might be investigated to make sure that we consider each greenback spent by our state authorities gives the return on funding that our folks deserve.

Kiley: My workforce and I have been on the entrance traces of the EDD disaster, working every day to assist a whole bunch of my constituents get the advantages they so desperately wanted. It was completely unconscionable that so most of the households I symbolize weren’t in a position to get advantages, whereas folks in our state prisons have been skimming off billions in taxpayer {dollars}.

I set to work instantly to demand an audit of the EDD, and I coauthored a package deal of payments to make pressing reforms. These reforms sought to make sure particular person information was protected, cross-check unemployment claims with correctional inmate information, and expedite the time during which certified claimants acquired advantages. When the 2020 legislative session ended with no motion on the problem, I referred to as for a particular session of the Legislature and requested my colleagues to maintain working for the folks of California.

Sadly, Gov. Newsom did not act with any sense of urgency. He refused to prioritize EDD reforms in his “historic” state finances. The EDD has been engaged on a “modernization” of its software program for 11 years and was woefully unprepared to answer the surge in demand over the previous yr. The consequence has been devastating for hundreds of thousands of Californians who’re nonetheless ready for advantages.

Different states resolved comparable points in a matter of days by partnering with the personal sector on cloud-based options. As governor, I’d unleash the ability of California innovation to repair our state’s most daunting technological issues. I’d additionally put in place management that serves the folks of California, not leaders who’re merely biding their time till they get a possibility to serve in a nationwide administration.

Lastly, it’s time that we reform our civil service system in California state authorities. It’s far too tough to incentivize and reward good efficiency, and it’s much more tough to let staff go when they aren’t assembly the calls for of the group. Till we handle the foundation causes of our damaged forms, we are going to proceed to see the identical failing outcomes.

Paffrath: The large fraud and gradual payment-processing of the EDD is symptomatic of the disastrous approach California handles issues. EDD staff ceaselessly lament the sophisticated processes, lack of coaching, and lack of a single system for coordinating funds, resulting in extraordinarily gradual processing time frames and excessive fraud. California ought to have a single platform for the EDD to course of funds by, one which’s straightforward to make use of and straightforward to coach on — then we have to guarantee we are able to remove fraud in our funds system. Coordinating with the Federal Reserve at San Francisco or corporations like JP Morgan to make the most of sooner fee processes might be a high precedence to make sure Californians obtain cash quick, effectively, and we remove fraud.

The workplace of the California Employment Improvement Division in Sacramento.

(Wealthy Pedroncelli / Related Press)

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