Pension Reform

In debate gaffe, Jerry Brown channels Gerald Ford

Saturday, September 6th, 2014
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The Sacramento press corps has been acting bored with the governor's race ever since the spectacle of Tim Donnelly as the GOP nominee faded away. So now we have a debate in which Jerry Brown makes a debate gaffe as dumb as President Gerald Ford's 1976 claim that Eastern Europe wasn't dominated by th...

Debate: Brown offers up whopper, claims he’s stopped pension spiking

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Questioner asks how state can pay for bullet train given House opposition to any further federal funding. Brown ducks question with broad defense of project. "This train makes a lot of sense," it's not "crazy," as Kashkari says. Kashkari: "He's raising your gas prices to fund his vanity projec...

Is Gov. Brown disinterested in pension reform?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Later today, the governing board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System is expected to pass rules giving state employees 99 ways to spike their "pensionable pay." Gov. Jerry Brown only objected to one of the 99 bonuses. This is the same governor who billed his 2012 pension reform l...

Moody’s raises questions about teacher pension funding fix

Friday, August 15th, 2014
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Soon after the CalSTRS funding fix crafted by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown took effect on July 1, Moody's Investors Service raised CalSTRS' bond issuer rating. But six weeks later, Moody's has put out another release that examines how much strain the law meant to stabilize funding for Ca...

Petty corruption all too common at CA special districts

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
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The California government agencies that provide water, sewage, trash and other special services are often oblivious to ethical norms and tone-deaf to how their actions look to the outside world. Part of it may be these agencies don't get the same scrutiny as City Councils and county Boards of Sup...

LA, CA still avoiding pension reality

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The ultimate pension reform is Detroit-style bankruptcy, with retirees getting less than what they are owed by contract. As the NY Times reported on July 22: "DETROIT — Coming to terms with what came to be seen as inevitable, this city’s public-sector retirees have voted to lower their expected...

Gov. Christie: Not all pensions will be paid

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Chris Cristie is the governor of New Jersey. But he has given a wake-up call to all states with public pension problems, including California. The latest: BELMAR, N.J. — Pension reform is going to involve breaking some promises, including reducing benefits that public employees were counting on ...

Pension bigger than salary?

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Most people understand that your pension will be less than your salary. You don't have to commute any more, so your car expenses are down. You can downsize your house because your kids moved out -- or at least that used to be the case before high housing costs and bad job prospects kept kids around....

Backdrop to CalPERS’ many debacles: Agency thinks it’s great

Sunday, July 13th, 2014
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The giant California Public Employees' Retirement System, as one might suspect from its massive and self-important Sacramento headquarters, thinks it is the bomb -- a flawless organization that should inspire awe in onlookers. Yes, of course, the phenomenon of government agency leaders and their ...

Feeble CalPERS reform shows Brown who runs Sacramento

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Taken at face value, the pension reforms touted by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 and 2012 were genuinely far-reaching for a California Democrat, even one as allegedly independent as Brown. But from the 2014 perspective, two of the key provisions previously sought by the gov have not only gone nowhere; th...