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How will Brown budget proposal address pensions, taxes, debt?

California's budget battles will begin on Friday when Gov. Jerry Brown releases his proposal for fiscal year 2014-15, which begins on July 1. The media and political buzz in the Capitol building is that the state has a surplus — and

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EDD employees nap, watch TV, surf net, while claims stack up

My three-part series about the Employment Development Department computer system upgrade has some in the agency wanting to unload. Apparently EDD officials’ explanation of the newly updated $100 million computer system “glitches,” and claims of understaffing, aren’t the whole story,

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What is the CA Agricultural Labor Relations Board?

Editor’s note: This is Part 1 in a series on the ALRB. California government includes many boards and commissions with members appointed by the governor. Most people never get to see who these decision makers are, despite the far-reaching effects

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Is Jerry Brown eyeing the White House again?

Gov. Jerry Brown’s crack public relations team has been hard at work convincing the rest of the country that he has sparked a California turnaround. The New Republic even recommended to President Obama that, in his second term, he should

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BART strike is a teachable moment

Reactions from the press and public to the BART strikes this year have been overwhelmingly negative. In one of the safest Democratic strongholds in the U.S., there is serious talk of outlawing future BART strikes. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle

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Could 12,000 lawmakers fix what ails California?

The one thing m how to get your ex back ost Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on is that special interests have too much influence in politics. The little guy is feeling less and less relevant — especially at

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Life imitates sci-fi: Why CA pension crisis is sure to get far worse

The debate in California over public employee pensions has grown familiar in recent times. Those who demand reform finally appear to have momentum. In Sacramento, Gov. Jerry Brown won passage of a pension reform measure in September 2012. While many

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LAT’s Steve Lopez finally figures out life in California

For years, I’ve written about the muddled thinking of liberal California pundits when it comes to government spending. I find it amazing how little comprehension there is that every dollar that is spent for unnecessary public employee compensation and every

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Social Security is healthy compared to public-sector pensions

Last week yet another missive on the lessons to be learned from Detroit’s bankruptcy was published, this time in Forbes Magazine by Jeffrey Dorfman, an economist at the University of Georgia. Dorfman’s article, “Detroit’s Bankruptcy Should Be A Warning To

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CA take note: Detroit bankruptcy could slash pensions 90% 123

Detroit declared bankruptcy today. For California, here are the takeaways from the Detroit News report: “A bankruptcy judge could trump the state constitution by slashing retiree pensions, ripping up contracts and paying creditors roughly a dime on the dollar for

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