From California to Florida, many public employees are paying more for their pensions now than a year ago as strapped state and local governments cast about for savings.
Now a sweeping Republican proposal in the California Senate, among other changes, would hike how much all current and future state and local government workers pay toward their pensions.
California's legislature passed a Democrat-crafted plan late Tuesday to close a budget gap that initially stood at $27.6 billion—the first time in decades that state lawmakers approved a budget without Republican support in a move that could have far-reaching consequences for California.
The $86 billion spending plan for the fiscal year starting Friday was endorsed Monday by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown after he earlier vetoed another budget passed by the legislature. The new budget was approved by just over half of each house of the legislature, the first such budget since California voters last year reversed a decades-old law requiring budget approval by two-thirds of lawmakers. The reversal meant the budget could pass with support from only Democrats.
Abandoning negotiations with Republican lawmakers, Gov. Jerry Brown struck a deal with Democrats for a budget that assumes billions of dollars in fresh revenue — but could lead to major service cuts if the money doesn't materialize.
With California's new fiscal year starting Friday and no compromise with the GOP on a budget in sight, Gov. Jerry Brown's chief spokesman called Sacramento Republicans "basically moronic" for failing to strike [Read More...]
Republican lawmakers are prepared to let voters decide whether to close California's stubborn budget deficit with higher taxes in exchange for major changes in state spending, public pensions and regulatory policies.
Battle lines sharpened Thursday over California's public pensions with the release of a new report that concludes pay and benefit packages for public workers are better than those for their counterparts in the private sector.
Commissioned by pension overhaul advocates poised to seek changes, the report drew immediate fire from public employee unions, which have muscled up to fight the emerging pension wars.
With Wisconsin convulsed by unrest over a bill to curb public employee unions, a similar measure is steaming toward passage in Ohio, a bigger labor stronghold with a vital role as a political battleground. [Read More...]
CalPERS recently took bold action and made public a report that chronicles in sobering detail the alleged wrongdoings of its former Chief Executive Officer and several former Board Members.
It is not possible to explain or excuse the chronicled actions of these former officials and we will make no attempt to do so. I am truly sorry that our members and the taxpayers who support the incredibly important work of every public servant have been placed in a position where they might question the integrity of this organization.
With the budget stuck in neutral, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers are leaving Sacramento to bolster their case for and against taxes.
The dueling roadshows reflect the fact that the parties remain at loggerheads after talks broke down last week. Facing a remaining $15.4 billion deficit, Brown is still seeking an election on taxes.