What’s the state doing to fix it?

Confusion about missing benefit money has led to tense state hearings with officials from EDD and Bank of America, calls to reevaluate the debit card contract with the bank, plus two class-action lawsuits that allege Bank of America acted negligently and proved “either unwilling or unable to stop criminals” from breaching California unemployment accounts.

The employment agency has a new director and executive board, and lawmakers across the political spectrum have proposed a wave of new measures to add a direct deposit option, expand language access, strengthen fraud protections and more. It’s too early to tell which reforms will stick, and the big question is still if, when and how unemployment claimants missing money will be made whole.

As for whether California might evaluate more drastic measures like upping its employer taxes to shore up the state’s unemployment benefit fund? That looks unlikely, given Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pledge not to approve any new taxes during the pandemic.