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1) Stop Adding New EDD Program Mandates Until the Unemployment System is Fixed
- Employment Development Department (EDD) must dedicate all of its focus to repairing California’s broken unemployment system.
- California has passed more than 70 laws impacting EDD since 2011.
- It’s time to hit pause on any new EDD programs unrelated to unemployment benefits until this crisis is fixed.
2) Fixing the EDD Must Be Our State’s Top Technology Priority: Use California’s vast technology resources to modernize the EDD
- EDD’s failure to modernize its technology is a product of failed leadership and priorities.
- This problem has been brewing for years, yet the project to modernize the EDD’s outdated IT system is planned to take until 2027 to complete.
- California must dedicate our best minds in state government and the private sector to upgrading EDD immediately.
- A modernized EDD will have:
- Robust fraud protections
- Direct deposit payments
- Automated claims processing
- Expanded call center hours
- Online customer service portal
3) Hire More Staff, Remove Bureaucratic Barriers to Fixing the Broken Unemployment System & Fundamentally Reform the EDD Culture
- California’s rigid civil service rules create barriers to fixing broken state departments from the bottom up.
- Designate new EDD employees within its unemployment program as “excluded employees” will give these workers the status as state personal in other critical departments like the Department of Finance, Department of Human Resources, and State Auditor’s office.
- Hire additional workers to clear unemployment claim backlogs and ensure all staff get the training needed to effectively resolve cases.
- Provide 24/7 phone access for Californians until the backlog is addressed and during future times of crisis.