Political News

Jelincic and Bilbrey are preliminary CalPERS board winners

Posted Oct 04, 2013

Incumbents Joseph Jelincic and Michael Bilbrey Preliminary Winners of CalPERS Board Election

SACRAMENTO, CA – Joseph (JJ) Jelincic and Michael Bilbrey are the preliminary winners to fill two Member-At-Large seats on the Board of Administration for the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) according to unofficial results released today by the Pension Fund. Formal certification of the results must be made by California's Secretary of State.

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CSR Legislative Report

Posted Sep 20, 2013

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

 
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CSR Legislative Report

Posted Aug 27, 2013

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

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CSR calls for legislative hearings to protect retirees' privacy

Posted Aug 16, 2013

California State Retirees President Tim Behrens wrote letters this week to legislative leaders urging them to hold special legislative hearings to investigate the many critical issues raised by a now-stalled CalPERS proposal to post a searchable database that provides the name and benefits of all of its 550,000 retirees.

“CSR – the largest state retiree organization in California – is deeply concerned about the potential threats a database searchable by member name poses to our 33,000 members,” Behrens said in letters to Sen. Jim Beall, the chair of the Senate Public Employees and Retirement Committee and to Assemblyman Rob Bonta, chair of the Assembly Public Employees and Social Security Committee. “Many of our members are of an advanced age which makes them vulnerable to scams and rip-offs that seek to separate them from their hard-earned pensions and other assets. Releasing their names will make them susceptible to harassing marketers, fraudulent activity and identity theft.”

A similar letter from Behrens was sent CalPERS President Rob Feckner.

Behrens said that California State Retirees recognizes that CalPERS member information has been considered public information for some time and that there is indeed some value in providing public access to pension data.

“Nevertheless, we do not believe that it is appropriate to release the name and pension data of every recipient in a searchable database that could be used to target individual retirees,” Behrens said.

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CSR Legislative Report

Posted May 14, 2013

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

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CSR suggests candidates in the Nov. 6 election

Posted Oct 19, 2012

The California State Retirees Board of Directors is endorsing the following candidates in the Nov. 6 General Election.

Recommendations were made to the board by the CSR Political Action Committee (PAC), which considers each candidate’s voting record on issues such as protecting pensions and health benefits for state retirees.

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Consider a few things before cutting pensions

Posted Jun 20, 2012

June 20, 2012

(Reuters) - The message from voters about public pension plans is clear: They're ready to cut the retirement benefits of police, firefighters, teachers and other state and municipal workers.

The latest indicators include the failed recall of Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin - which started with his efforts to cut pensions - and referendums in San Jose and San Diego, where voters overwhelmingly backed pension reform measures.

A recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that 35 states have reduced pension benefits since the 2008 financial crisis, mostly for future employees. Eighteen states have reduced or eliminated cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) - and some states have even applied these changes retroactively to current retirees.

This week, the Pew Center on the States reported that states are continuing to lose ground in their efforts to cover long-term retiree obligations. In fiscal year 2010, the gap between states' assets and their obligations for retirement benefits was $1.38 trillion, up nearly 9 percent from fiscal 2009. Of that figure, $757 billion was for pensions, and $627 billion was for retiree health care.

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Gov. Walker survives recall in Wisconsin

Posted Jun 06, 2012

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won a vote to keep his job on Tuesday, surviving a recall effort that turned the Republican into a conservative icon and his state into the first battleground in a bitter, expensive election year.

Walker defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D). That made Walker the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election; two others had failed.

Exit polls showed that Democrats had captured nearly 69 percent of the voters who made up their minds in the past few days. But it wasn’t enough.

Instead, the night provided a huge boost for Walker — as well as Republicans in Washington and state capitals who have embraced the same energetic, austere brand of fiscal conservatism as a solution for recession and debt. In a state known for a strong progressive tradition, Walker defended his policies against the full force of the labor movement and the modern left.

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San Jose voters approve pension reforms

Posted Jun 06, 2012

San Jose voters Tuesday handed Mayor Chuck Reed a crucial victory with his nationally watched pension reform measure passing by a decisive margin.It was a big night for pension reform, with a San Diego measure also winning by a wide margin. City employee unions who argued the measures are illegal were expected to challenge both in court.

But voter approval of San Jose's Measure B puts Reed and the city in the vanguard of efforts to shrink taxpayer bills for generous government pension plans. Passage also strengthen's Reed's hand as he and his City Council allies work to enact the measure's reforms with a vote next week to reduce pensions for new hires.

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Legislative panel working on ‘hybrid’ pension

Posted Apr 11, 2012

SANTA ROSA — A two-house legislative committee is working with Gov. Brown’s Department of Finance on a ‘hybrid’ retirement plan for new state and local government hires, a committee member told a forum here last week.

Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, twice referred to a “cash balance” plan while talking about a cost-cutting hybrid, proposed by Brown, that combines a lower pension with a 401(k)-style individual investment plan.

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