August 24, 2021
Media Contact: Jenna Crouse
[email protected]

Businesswoman, Top Fundraiser, and Governor Candidate Jenny Rae Le Roux releases 5-step EDD Reform Plan 

REDDING — In response to the up to $31 billion that California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) lost to fraud last year, Candidate for Governor Jenny Rae Le Roux released her 5-step plan to reform the EDD.

In contrast to the Legislature, which recently cancelled hearings on the egregious fraud at the EDD to protect Gavin Newsom’s political future, Le Roux is stepping up to lead even before she’s in office, offering concrete solutions to fix the problem.

Le Roux stated, “I’m running for Governor to free Californians to live, work, and breathe again. The data doesn’t lie: Gavin Newsom has failed at managing the EDD. I’m an experienced CEO who gets out of her office and into the field. In March 2020, I would have been in unemployment lines talking to constituents, and on phones figuring out what needed to be done. 

I’m a leader who gets results – so I would have authorized spending for claims processing capacity in March 2020. A good leader mobilizes a team to plan ahead. In addition, instead of offering a no-bid contract for phone service to the same company that botched the 2013 computer upgrade, I would have opened a bidding war between providers to secure the best staffing support for the EDD at the best price.

I would have also mandated cybersecurity and identity verification systems for the EDD. Experts say fixes could have been implemented in as little as 4 days, but Gavin Newsom just didn’t seem to care. Despite repeated fraud warnings from the federal government, the EDD waited 6 months and processed over 7 million claims before it began flagging addresses with unusually high numbers of claims. According to a recent audit, ‘the most egregious example’ included 1,700 claims coming from a single address.

Le Roux’s 5-step plan is ready to be implemented on her 1st day in office, and includes:

  1. New EDD staff with experience getting results in large organizations.
  2. Instituting a training program at the EDD so representatives know how to solve claims issues.
  3. Updating ancient computer systems that currently run on a 60-year-old programming language.
  4. Implementing state-of-the art cybersecurity, an ID verification system, and rapid employer notifications to eliminate fraud.
  5. Reintroducing eligibility requirements for unemployment aid.

Le Roux continued, saying “Maddeningly, the government knew what the issues were. The state auditor released a report in January that found the EDD failed to address key operational issues it has known about for more than a decade. An identity verification feature could have been added in 4 days to stop a majority of the fraud. It’s time California elects a leader who knows how to get things done.”