BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A bill introduced by Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) to strengthen protections against fraudulent unemployment insurance claims has passed the Senate Committee on Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement.
“The state has already confirmed $11 billion in fraud, with potentially more than $31 billion being placed on the backs of taxpayers,” Grove said in a release. “SB 39 is a common sense measure which will safeguard against further fraudulent prisoner claims and ensure benefits are available for hardworking Californians.”
The bill would require the Employment Development Department to cross-check unemployment benefit claims with the names of those in jail or prison.
Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said in the release that cross-checking a list of state prison inmates against those who applied for pandemic unemployment benefits will help “close the floodgates of fraudulent claims that prison inmates have used to defraud California of billions of dollars.”
The bill will next be heard by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.