The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 24, 2009
EDD technology faces Senate scrutiny as unemployment rises

It's no April Fool's joke.

A Senate Web site is listing a joint Senate hearing for April 1 into how the Employment Development Department is using technology.

The hearing is to be led by the chairmen of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and the Select Committee on Disaster and Emergency Response.

The official subject of the hearing, as reported today on the Senate Daily File, a Web site that tracks Senate activities and hearings: Technology at the Employment Development Department: How to build an EDD that meets the needs of California.

Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, and Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, will oversee the late afternoon session.

Florez's Bakersfield-area district is among those that have been hard hit by the state's continuing recession.

The state's overall unemployment rate is closing in on 11 percent, and the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific's Eberhardt School of Business forecast today that it could top 12 percent by year's end.

The Fresno Bee's Jim Boren -- read his recent opinion piece here -- has joined The Sacramento Bee and other news outlets in chronicling the challenges that newly unemployed taxpayers face as they try to reach EDD officials by telephone to file their unemployment insurance claim or ask questions.

No word yet on who the witnesses will be or who from EDD will appear.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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