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Morning Briefing: California’s Unemployment Disaster

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Good morning, L.A.

If you’ve tried to navigate California’s unemployment system in recent months – and many Angelenos have – you’ve no doubt noticed that it’s in need of some … upgrades.

Well, a recent task force put in place by Gov. Gavin Newsom found the same thing, and, as a result, the state’s Employment Development Department will stop taking new claims for the next two weeks as it attempts to sort itself out.

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Among other findings, the report revealed that the department has a backlog of nearly 1.6 million unresolved claims; callers trying to reach the department have, at best, a one-in-1,000 chance of talking to a human; and applicants for unemployment who don’t speak English “have a difficult, if not impossible, time navigating the unemployment application process."

Those who already have open claims will continue to receive benefits during the next two weeks.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

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Coming Up Today, September 22

Caroline Champlin takes a deeper dive into what is at stake for L.A. in the 2020 Census -- and how a lawsuit that's playing out in federal court may or may not change things.

Mike Roe sits in on a 10 a.m. news conference where Disney officials will go over plans to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic -- including at the still-shuttered Disneyland and California Adventure parks.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

The Bobcat Fire: The ongoing blaze in the Angeles National Forest surpassed 100,000 acres over the weekend, making it one of the largest wildfires in L.A. County history. As owners of Southern California’s last pack station, Maggie Moran and her family were relieved to learn that firefighters defended her home and business – located in a popular recreation area in the Angeles National Forest – from the Bobcat Fire.

Coronavirus Updates: There has been a 23% decrease in hospitalizations and a 25% decrease in COVID-19-positive ICU admissions in California over the past two weeks.

Money Matters: California’s unemployment system will stop accepting new claims for the next two weeks, as it attempts immediate reform following the publication of a damning report.

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Higher Education: The Cal State University system will on Wednesday announce a new chancellor to replace retiring Timothy White.

Photo Of The Day

A Joshua Tree burns during the Bobcat Fire in Juniper Hills.

(Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images)

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This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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