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State Senator Mark Wyland

State agency oversight should be #1 priority of CA Legislature

It’s no secret that many California state agencies lack accountability to voters, taxpayers and the Legislature. A few recent egregious examples are a clarion call for legislative oversight.

The Department of Consumer Affairs computer upgrade recently held up nursing licenses for more than three months – a process which used to take three days to complete.

California’s new Obamacare website, Covered California, has been riddled with paperwork and significant online problems since its rollout in October.

These computer system glitches… Read More

Katy Grimes

New CA Labor Secretary David Lanier, man of mystery

David Lanier has his hands full. Formerly Gov. Jerry Brown’s legislative affairs secretary, on Nov. 6 the governorgave him the nodto be the California’s new secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

Lanier takes charge more than three months after the meltdown of the computers of the Employment Development Department.

Ireported on those problems earlier this month. The problems are supposed to be fixed by Dec. 31. The “fix” already has cost California taxpayers $100 million.

In September, following the computer update,150,000Read More

Katy Grimes

EDD computers must be fixed by Dec. 31 – Part ll

This is Part 2 of a series on the EDD. Part 1, an interview with Spokesman Dan Stephens, ishere.

Just after the Labor Day weekend, the California Employment Development Department released a $100 million computer upgrade. Itcrashed.

Without warning,150,000 joblessCalifornians were cut from unemployment benefits. The EDD blamed a computer glitch and said it would take weeks to fix.

November hearings in the Legislature produced promises to fix the system. In response,Henry Perea, D-Fresno, the chairman of the Insurance Committee, senta letterto EDD Director Hilliard demanding fixes by Dec. 31. Perea identified five… Read More

Katy Grimes

EDD responds to questions on computer glitches

This is Part 1 of a series.

Obamacare’s computers aren’t the only government systems struck by major glitches.

Two months after a California Employment Development Departmentcomputer crashcut off tens of thousands of Californians from their unemployment benefits, the EDD remains overwhelmed by overdue unemployment claims from thousands of people looking for jobs.

State Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern, an appointee of Gov. Jerry Brown, quicklyordered EDDofficials to pay the unemployment claims immediately, and check eligibility later. Yet today thousands of jobless… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Making Life Simpler for Taxpayers

I am pleased to announce Senate Bill 582, a joint effort between my office and Senator Steve Knight, has passed both houses of the Legislature and reached the Governor’s desk.

SB 582 will make life simpler for taxpayers by requiring the Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board and Employment Development Department to consider integrating their websites to better serve taxpayers. The idea is to create a one-stop shop for taxpayers to visit for all of their tax services. This will streamline filing requirements by providing taxpayers with up-to-date integrated access to accounts with all three tax agencies.

In a 2005 report the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office urged the creation of a portal that would allow a taxpayer to “log onto a single website and through a series of menus, be directed to the proper form which would allow them to file their taxes or remit a payment.” As you can see, this reform is long overdue.

It’s not easy doing business in California. One of many challenges for a business owner is the confusing… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

‘Single Taxpayer Web Portal’ Advances

Today I testified in support of legislation by Senator Tom Harman that would direct California’s three tax agencies to work toward the goal of consolidating tax self-services into a single taxpayer-friendly website.

These difficult economic times highlight the need for government to eliminate bureaucratic red-tape that entangles businesses. Many California businesses have to file and pay taxes to three separate agencies, and taxpayers are often confused as to which agency is responsible for a particular tax: BOE, EDD or FTB.

SB 1326 would streamline this process. Under the bill’s provisions, the website www.taxes.ca.gov would be enhanced to allow taxpayers to file tax returns, claim refunds, and request for relief of interest or penalties with one login.

Taxpayers would no longer need to navigate through three separate tax agencies to access forms and information, saving taxpayers time and increasing voluntary compliance.

Just as online banking has provided individuals and businesses with easier… Read More