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Bill to Prohibit Unemployment Insurance for Elected Officials Takes a Step

John Nunez
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After Rosemead City Councilman John Nunez lost a his re-election bid in early 2009, he claimed and eventually collected $11,250 in unemployment benefits, paid by the city, despite objections. When news broke, it ruffled many politicians the wrong way prompting them into action.State senators Gloria Romero (D - East Los Angeles) and Bob Dutton (R- Rancho Cucamonga) both co-authored SB 1211, which seeks to prevent elected officials from collecting unemployment benefits after they lose or leave their public seats. Current law already intends to prohibit such benefits, but the language is not sufficiently clear for enforcement.

“As California struggles toward economic recovery and millions remain unemployed, we need to be certain that the limited resource of unemployment insurance benefits will be held in reserve for the displaced workers who truly need them,” said Romero in a statement. “Moreover, as elected officials, we are public servants who answer a call to give, not to receive.”

Today, the bill was approved in the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee and next moves on to Senate Appropriations.