In this 2013, photo provided by Center for Individual Rights, Rebecca Friedrichs, a veteran Orange County, Calif., public school teacher, poses for a portrait. A tie vote from the Supreme Court means public sector unions in about half the states can continue collecting fees from workers who choose not to join. The justices on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, divided 4-4 in a case that considered whether public employees represented by a union can be required to pay "fair share" fees covering collective bargaining costs even if they are not members.
Courtesy of the Center for Individual Rights via AP Greg Schneider.
Sacramento, Calif. - By the end of the decade, millions of California workers could be enrolled automatically in a state-run retirement program viewed by proponents as the most significant attempt to address golden-years poverty since the New Deal.
After more than two years of work, the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board will vote Monday on a slate of recommendations to the Legislature on what a state-managed plan should look like. Those will be folded into pending legislation by Senate leader Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, with the goal of putting a bill on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk this summer.
Although its 2014-15 budget was balanced, California’s state government ended the fiscal year $175.1 billion in the red, thanks largely to state retirement obligations that had to be included in its balance sheet for the first time.
Under new rules by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, state and local governments must list unfunded pension liabilities as debts alongside the more traditional bonds and other forms of debt.
Nearing the finish line in the biggest scandal in CalPERS’ history, California officials accepted $20 million to settle civil charges over the bribery case that has hounded the giant pension fund for years.
Arvco Capital Research, a defunct Nevada investment bank owned by late financier Alfred Villalobos, agreed to pay the state $20 million to resolve a state lawsuit accusing Villalobos and his firm of bribing officials at CalPERS. The sum includes $10 million in attorneys’ fees
Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of nationally recognized pension reformers today announced the launch of the Retirement Security Initiative (RSI), a national, bipartisan advocacy organization focused on helping state and local governments meet their pension obligations and avoid insolvency. Spearheading the group's efforts are: former Utah State Senator Dan Liljenquist; former Lt. Governor of New York Richard Ravitch; former Mayor of San Jose Chuck Reed; former CFO of Chicago Lois Scott; and financial restructuring expert Jim Spiotto.
Measure to curb California public pensions is pulled – for now
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 19, 2016
Beleaguered by fundraising doubts and attacks from organized labor, two former California officials said Monday they are backing off plans to place a measure on the November ballot intended to curb public pension benefits.
Instead, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio said in a joint announcement, “We have decided to re-file at least one of our pension reform measures later this year for the November 2018 ballot.”
Reed said in a telephone interview that he is disappointed but undeterred. Professional fundraisers and potential donors, he said, believed that economics, politics and a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision would strengthen the likelihood of passing a pension measure in two years.
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 13, 2016 -- State and local public union officials plowed through a 100-page U.S. Supreme Court transcript on Monday, trying to divine how the nine justices are leaning in a case with the potential to tie a knot in the pipeline of money that feeds their treasuries.
While the outcome of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association could end compulsory payments to government unions, maintain the status quo or fall somewhere in between, the labor leaders interviewed by The Sacramento Bee remained optimistic regardless of the outcome that their associations would adapt.
“We’ll continue to exist,” said Dave Low, executive director of the California School Employees Association, “but it would weaken us.”
Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio announced they will not be circulating for signatures the pension initiative they previously announced earlier this year while promising to announce two more pension initiatives. The decision reflects, again, that Reed and company can't "handle the truth" about their pension schemes. Impact of Reed/DeMaio Pension Measures on New Public Employees
The California State Retirees Health Benefits Committee is calling for CalPERS to extend open enrollment for retirees this year because changes in Medicare health plan offerings were not adequately explained in time for members to make informed decisions by the Oct. 9 enrollment deadline.
The following PDF is a list of bills that CSR is supporting, opposing or watching.
September 15, 2015 Legislative Report