Articles for category State Economy
For the first time, California's Highway Patrol officers are going to be furloughed.
The union reached an agreement at with Gov. Jerry Brown that furloughs Patrol officers 8 hours per month for one year starting July 1. Officers can bank the hours to take later, but their paychecks will reflect the 5 percent pay reduction regardless.
Department of Personnel Administration spokeswoman Lynelle Jolley confirmed the agreement. Jon Hamm, CEO of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, said that the language of the agreement encourages officers to take their banked furlough time before taking paid vacation.
The Brown administration had said that it wanted to avoid a policy that allowed banking furlough hours because that leads to employees taking less paid leave, creating a deferred cost for the state when the leave credits with monetary value are cashed out at the end of an employees' career.
Like his predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown moved to trim state worker salaries Monday as a way to help cut a ballooning budget deficit.
Although many of the details still need to be hammered out with the unions, Brown proposed that workers lose a day's pay each month in a move that evoked memories of furlough days under former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Under Brown's plan, state workers would switch to a four-day workweek, working 9.5 hours a day, or 38 hours a week, instead of the current five-day, 40-hour workweek. The change would cut workers' pay by 5 percent, saving the state $401 million in general fund costs.
Administration officials said they also expect to save money by closing buildings one day a week.
For weeks, the Brown administration has been talking to labor leaders about wringing savings from payroll. Brown did not say Monday whether union leaders had specifically suggested the shorter workweek but did say those discussions were considered in shaping the policy.
The line at CalPERS' customer service window is getting longer.
After converting to a half-billion-dollar computer system to process benefits for hundreds of thousands of California public agency retirees last September, backlogs for some services are worse than before the project launched.
The new hardware and software installed by New York-based tech firm Accenture aimed to consolidate 49 old data systems into one when it launched last September, two years late at nearly twice its original $279 million budget. The California Public Employees' Retirement System committed another $6.8 million in December, bringing the total cost to $514 million. The money has come from CalPERS assets, currently valued at $234 billion.
Meanwhile, fund members have complained that a system intended to speed up service and boost efficiency has done the opposite.
Health benefits for government retirees may not be eliminated if state and local governments had clearly promised workers those benefits, the California Supreme Court ruled in an Orange County case Monday. [Read More...]
Approximately half of California workers will retire in or near poverty, according to a study published Monday by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. [Read More...]
Nearly half of California workers will retire in or near poverty, shows a new study released by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, "California Workers’ Retirement Prospects."
While retirement security is and will be a problem in the whole of the nation, the situation is worse in California, because California workers have less access to employer retirement plans than workers in the United States as a whole, according to the study authors.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) July 18 reported a 20.7 percent return on investments in preliminary estimates for the one-year period that ended June 30, 2011.
“This is our best annual performance in 14 years,” said Rob Feckner, CalPERS Board President. “For the second straight fiscal year, the Pension Fund exceeded its long-term annualized earnings target [Read More...]
Benefit payments in 2010 by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension, spurred more than $26 billion in economic activity in the state, the fund said in a report.
CalPERS benefit payments rippled through the California economy last year, generating $26 billion in economic activity and supporting more than 93,600 jobs across the state, Anne Stausboll, Chief Executive Officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, told a Washington, D.C., conference today.
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.