Monthly Archives: November 2011

San Jose’s pension costs pose a true fiscal emergency

By Daniel Borenstein | Contra Costa Times — The city of San Jose faces a fiscal death squeeze as it tries to fund ballooning costs of employee retirement benefits. To pay the bill, the city must lay off workers. Whereas … Continue reading

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Cash-strapped cities want workers to contribute more to their pensions

By Catherine Saillant | Los Angeles Times — It’s business as usual at Santa Ana City Hall as residents trickle up to the counter to pay business fees, pick up a dog license or, in a newer wing next door, … Continue reading

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Pension progress in Riverside County

Editorial | The Press-Enterprise — Riverside County cannot close its budget shortfalls while sustaining some of the most lavish retirement benefits around. The county needs to rein in employee costs in order to close a persistent budget gap. And that … Continue reading

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‘Glitch’ in CalPERS’ new $507,000,000 computer system creates bureaucratic mess for widowed spouses

By Jon Ortiz | Sacramento Bee — A glitch with CalPERS’ new half-billion-dollar computer system has delayed death benefit checks to widowed spouses and incorrectly triggered letters notifying some members that their health insurance has been canceled.  Continue reading . … Continue reading

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Showdowns loom in California over public pensions

By Jim Christie | Reuters — There’s no avoiding a ballot showdown over paring public employee pensions in California’s third-largest city, its mayor said on Wednesday. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed told Reuters by telephone he has enough backing from … Continue reading

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San Jose leaders paint grim budget picture without pension reform

By John Woolfolk | Mercury News — With life hanging in the balance, San Jose police and firefighters will take minutes longer to respond to emergencies. City libraries and community centers, some newly built, will sit locked and empty. There … Continue reading

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Public pressure needed to push California pension reform

By Dick Spotswood | Marin Independent Journal — Until now, it’s been easy for many Marin politicians to dodge responsibility for changing California’s broken public employee retirements system. That’s frustrating because most voters understand that the status quo is not … Continue reading

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UPDATE: Convicted San Diego police officer WILL NOT get $40,000 annual pension

By Crag Gustafson | San Diego Union-Tribune – An ex-San Diego police officer convicted of assaulting women isn’t eligible for a city pension contrary to a report Tuesday by The San Diego Union-Tribune, according to a lawyer with the San … Continue reading

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Soaring Marin County pension bill fueled largely by top tier of retirees, study finds

By Nels Johnson | Marin Independent Journal – The soaring cost of Marin County’s pension program is driven in large part by plump benefits for a few hundred retirees at the top, a new study indicates. Some 30 percent of … Continue reading

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San Jose pension crisis tied up in legal quagmire

By Daniel Borenstein | Contra Costa Times — Labor unions try to have it both ways. They fight statewide reform of public employee pension systems by insisting that change must be bargained at the local level. But, as we see … Continue reading

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Pension reform and union shenanigans in San Diego

By Paul Feine & Alex Manning | Reason.tv — On November 8, 2011, San Diego’s Comprehensive Pension Reform ballot measure qualified for the June ballot. Like so many other cities around the country, San Diego is facing a fiscal crisis. … Continue reading

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Soaring pension costs force service cutbacks in Marin County

By Nels Johnson | Marin Independent Journal – Soaring pension costs and flat property tax growth have wedged Marin County in a budget chasm that could reach $15 million in two years, requiring more cutbacks, collaboration, advance planning and creative … Continue reading

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Former Schwarzenegger adviser renews call for pension reform

David Crane, the jobs and economic growth adviser for former GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and now president of Govern for California, says that pension changes need to be part of solving the multibillion-dollar state budget deficit expected next year.  Continue … Continue reading

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Legislative Analyst says state’s retirement costs to increase by $200 million over 5 years

By Jon Ortiz | Sacramento Bee — State pensions will cost government employers about $200 million more in fiscal 2016-17 than expected next year, according to a new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office. About half of those rising costs … Continue reading

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Amendments submitted to clarify two CPR initiatives

Press Release | California Pension Reform — Today California Pension Reform submitted to the Attorney General amendments to its two pension reform initiatives designed to clarify its provisions. The Attorney General allows amendments to be made within 15 days of … Continue reading

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Some believe the constitution doesn’t prevent the state from changing costly public employee pension plans

By George Skelton | Los Angeles Times — In Philadelphia, 224 years ago, some men tucked these words into the nation’s new Constitution: “No state shall … pass any … law impairing the obligation of contracts…” Those words, squeezed into … Continue reading

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$100,000 pensions for California’s public employees are not so rare

Editorial | Appeal-Democrat — Six-figure pension incomes for retired public employees in California are rapidly becoming more common. The number of state government retirees receiving at least $100,000 in taxpayer-backed benefits has risen 99 percent in two years. Faced with … Continue reading

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Pension Prop 13

By Girard Miller | Governing Magazine — Last week I discussed the primary features of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s thoughtful 12-point plan to reform the state’s unsustainable pension mess. The night before my column published, a group called California Pension … Continue reading

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The state with the biggest pension problem is stumbling toward a solution

Editorial | The Economist — Jerry Brown, aged 73, likes to joke that he is not only California’s governor but also its “best pension buy”. After all, he has spent much of his life in public service (including a first … Continue reading

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Cut public employee pensions, California voters say

By John Woolfolk and Steven Harmon | San Jose Mercury News — From San Francisco to Modesto, California voters Tuesday sent a strong message that they want to cut generous public employee pensions, whose soaring costs are devouring funds for … Continue reading

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