Political News

New ballot measure proposed to cut pensions

Posted Mar 11, 2015

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A ballot measure campaign to cut California's public pensions will be launched in May by a coalition of politicians and business people led by former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, with the state's largest retirement system a prime target.

The measure would take aim at California's $300 billion giant Calpers, which has a near-iron grip on the state's pensions. Calpers, America's largest public pension fund and administrator of pensions for more than 3,000 state and local agencies, has long argued that pensions cannot be touched or renegotiated, even in bankruptcy.

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CSR Legislative Report

Posted Feb 25, 2015

The following PDF is a list of Bills that CSR is supporting, opposing, or watching.

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CSR Legislative Report

Posted Feb 09, 2015

The following PDF is a list of Bills that CSR is supporting, opposing, or watching.

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Congress agrees to allow cuts to some retiree benefits

Posted Dec 11, 2014

Retirees covered by financially troubled multiemployer pensions could soon see their benefits cut under a congressional spending deal to keep the government running, the Associated Press (AP) reported Dec. 10.

The plan does not affect public pensions like those under CalPERS, but California State Retirees is closely monitoring this and all other pension issues and trends.

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Congressional leaders hammer out deal to allow pension plans to cut retiree benefits

Posted Dec 10, 2014

The following article appeared on the Washington Post website regarding a plan that would allow pension plans to cut retiree benefits. The California State Retirees is closely monitoring this legislation, and assessing the impact. We will keep our members apprised as new information becomes available. The article is presented below for your information. California State Retirees

The Washington Post -- A measure that would for the first time allow the benefits of current retirees to be severely cut is set to be attached to a massive spending bill, part of an effort to save some of the nation’s most distressed pension plans.
 
The rule would alter 40 years of federal law and could affect millions of workers, many of them part of a shrinking corps of middle-income employees in businesses such as trucking, construction and supermarkets.

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Former CSR Board Member Max Turchen passes away

Posted Nov 05, 2014

Max Turchen, a longtime CSR board member and political activist, passed away Oct. 31 at the age of 94. “Max was a tireless champion for the rights of retirees and workers, and he will be sorely missed,” said CSR President Tim Behrens. “He was dedicated, hard working and most importantly – he was a good man.”

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CalPERS gets $249 million settlement from Bank of America

Posted Nov 04, 2014

CalPERS said Nov. 3 it has received a $249.3 million payment from Bank of America, the result of a settlement over toxic mortgage securities purchased by the pension fund during the housing bubble. With the Bank of America settlement, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System said it has now recovered more than $500 million from its investments in bad mortgage securities.

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Governor makes key personnel appointments

Posted Oct 22, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday appointed Richard Gillihan to head the California Department of Human Resources, where he has served in an acting role since February. In his new position, Gillihan will also serve on the CalPERS Board of Administration.

Gillihan, 46, took over after Julie Chapman suddenly stepped down amid criticism that the department lacked leadership. His appointment broke a chain of CalHR chiefs who were labor insiders or bureaucrats who had come up through the department in favor of a technology expert and fiscal manager from the Department of Finance.

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Reed's pension measure is scrapped

Posted Mar 14, 2014

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS -- Mayor Chuck Reed on Friday abandoned what was supposed to be his crowing achievement, saying he had admitted defeat in his bid to get a statewide pension reform measure on the November ballot.

The decision was expected after Reed struggled to attract the well-funded allies he needed to raise the millions of dollars to gather the roughly 800,000 signatures required for the initiative to reach the ballot. Meanwhile, organized union groups mounted a campaign to defeat it, and dozens of other California mayors lined up against it.

The San Jose mayor will be termed out of office at the end of this year and had spent months traveling the state and Washington D.C. in hopes of gathering support for his initiative, which was similar to a city pension measure he championed in 2012.

 

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Governor signs CSR-endorsed bills

Posted Oct 15, 2013

Governor signs CSR-endorsed bills

Gov. Brown signed five bills in October that are beneficial to senior citizens and supported by California State Retirees (CSR).

Of the 896 bills the Legislature sent the governor this year before adjourning in September, the governor signed 800 and vetoed 96, according to Ted Toppin, legislative advocate for CSR. The approved bills go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

 

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