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Today In WTF: Those Voted Out Of Office Can Collect Unemployment

State Sen. Gloria Romero.
State Sen. Gloria Romero.

That's right. Officials voted out of office in California can collect unemployment. In fact, it has happened: Rosemead councilman John Nunez received state unemployment insurance payments after he was ejected from his seat in March 2009. Despite objections from city officials, Rosemead was billed $11,250 for his unemployment benefits. Because, you know, he's an out-of-work politician.

Los Angeles state Sen. Gloria Romero and Rancho Cucamonga state Sen. Bob Dutton have introduced legislation to stop the practice. Senate Bill 1211 would clarify the Golden State's unemployment law and prevent politicians from taking advantage of such public benefits.

"As elected officials, we are public servants who answer a call to give, not to receive," stated Romero, a Democrat. "I am outraged to hear that an elected official would file for unemployment and I am committed to ensuring that this never happens again."

Dutton, a Republican, added: "This common-sense measure will ensure public servants don't bilk our unemployment system when they leave office. California's unemployment insurance fund is bleeding red ink, having borrowed more than $7 billion so far from the federal government to stay afloat. We must identify and eliminate all forms of abuse and ensure that only those who rightly qualify for benefits receive them."

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