CalWatchdog Morning Read – September 19

by CalWatchdog Staff | September 19, 2016 9:47 am

Good morning. Hope y’all had a good weekend. There’s a really interesting story in the Los Angeles Times today about a pension-improvement bill signed by then-Governor Gray Davis and how much the measure is costing taxpayers, despite the sales pitch almost two decades ago that it would pay for itself.

“Proponents sold the measure in 1999 with the promise that it would impose no new costs on California taxpayers. The state employees’ pension fund, they said, would grow fast enough to pay the bill in full.

“They were off — by billions of dollars — and taxpayers will bear the consequences for decades to come.

“This year, state employee pensions will cost taxpayers $5.4 billion, according to the Department of Finance. That’s more than the state will spend on environmental protection, fighting wildfires and the emergency response to the drought combined. …

“Today, the difference between what all California government agencies have set aside for pensions and what they will eventually owe amounts to $241 billion, according to the state controller.

“Davis, who was elected in 1998 with more than $5 million in campaign contributions from public employee unions, says that if he had it to do over, he would not support the pension improvements.

“’If you’re asking me, with everything I’ve learned in the last 17 years, would I have signed SB400 … no, I would not have signed it,” Davis, now 73, said in a recent interview at his Century City law office.'”

The Los Angeles Times[1] has more. 

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  1. Los Angeles Times:
  2. The San Jose Mercury News:
  3. The Sacramento Bee:
  4. The San Jose Mercury News:
  5. Barbara Boxer:
  6. AP/SF Gate:
  7. Long Beach at 10:30 a.m.:

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