Thursday, July 9, 2020

In the News: fraudulent unemployment claims identified; funding required for ballot application mailing

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Massachusetts has recovered more than $158 million from fraudulent unemployment claims after identifying tens of thousands of incidents of fraud since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, officials announced Tuesday. 
Because of the rampant fraud, which officials said is part of a nationwide scheme, new identity verification efforts are being implemented by the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance. 
DUA officials said the additional measures may “temporarily delay the payment timeframe” for some claims. The agency is working on the verification effort with the Massachusetts State Police, the Department of Corrections, and the National Guard. 
Officials said that personal data stolen in earlier commercial data breaches is being used in the fraud."
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"The state’s top election official said Tuesday he can’t mail ballot applications to voters, as required under a time-sensitive new law, until the Legislature approves funding for the bill that Gov. Charlie Baker signed on Monday. 
The law requires Secretary of State William Galvin to send mail-in voting applications by July 15 in order to give voters time to request a ballot for the Sept. 1 primary elections, fill it out, and mail it back in.
“We had hoped to do it by that date. The legislation calls for it. But the Legislature has not sent the money. We can’t pay for the postage. We can’t pay for the printing until we have the postal permit. We can’t buy the permit until we get the money,” he told reporters outside the State House.
Galvin said a $5 million appropriation included in a more than $1 billion Senate spending bill that largely deals with COVID-19 appropriations “would probably get us going.” The House and Senate spending bills differ, and it’s unclear when legislative leaders will agree on a single bill."
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