Co-published by Westword
Colorado lawmakers passed landmark legislation Wednesday night reducing pension benefits for thousands of teachers, firefighters, cops and other public sector workers.
Co-published by Westword
Pension officials across America have been willing to use retirees’ money to pay huge fees for investments that may not beat low-fee stock index funds, but seem to reduce politically problematic volatility.
Co-published by Westword
While calling on public employees to sacrifice, Colorado’s legislators have plowed one-fifth of these employees’ retirement savings into “alternative investments” that yield subpar returns.
As next week’s June 15 budget deadline looms, legislative leaders hammering out differences between the Assembly and Senate versions of this year’s $171 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 will also be deciding the fate of retirement security for future University of California workers.
See Dan Braun and Bill Raden’s report on the Capital & Main poll. Read other Capital & Main stories on pension-cutting ballot proposals in California.
Chuck Reed today declined to address the findings of a Capital & Main poll that showed weak support for two Reed-created ballot initiatives aimed at reducing pension benefits for California’s public employees. If either measure receives the necessary number of petition signatures to be placed on the 2016 ballot, it will face fierce opposition from […]
A pair of potential ballot initiatives written to overhaul California’s public pensions could face a rough road, according to a new poll. The results from a Capital & Main-David Binder Research poll of 500 likely voters shows that if the election were held today, the numbers of those voting for the measures and those against […]
Backers of a proposed statewide ballot measure that would radically change the way wages and pensions of California’s government employees are formulated have begun an email campaign seeking pledges of support for the measure – as well as volunteers to circulate signature petitions when they become available in a few weeks. The pension activists have […]
On Tuesday California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released the full title and summary text for the Public Employees Pension and Retiree Healthcare Benefits Initiative Constitutional Amendment. The title is a mouthful, but the initiative’s wording is just six sentences long. Its first two lines read: “Eliminates constitutional protections for vested pension and retiree healthcare […]
On Tuesday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris will release the official title and summary that will appear on the 2016 ballot for former San Jose mayor Chuck Reed’s latest statewide public-sector pension cutting initiative. That language will finally end speculation on how far Harris will go in describing the sweeping scope of the proposed constitutional […]
When Democratic former San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Republican ex-San Diego councilmember Carl DeMaio finally unveiled the language for a promised attempt at getting a statewide public pension cutting measure to 2016 voters, the expectation was that Reed II would be a reined-in and more realistically-framed version of Reed I – last […]
The newest front in the battle over the retirement security of California’s public employees opened June 4 with the release of the language for a proposed ballot initiative that would rewrite the state’s constitution to virtually outlaw traditional defined-benefit pension plans for future state and municipal workers. The measure, dubbed “The Voter Empowerment Act of […]
On April 10, the libertarian Reason Foundation held its strategic “pension summit” in Sacramento’s Sterling Hotel to reduce government workers’ retirements. A proposed 2016 state ballot measure to cut public employee pensions by shifting them from traditional, defined-benefit pensions to more volatile 401(k)-type retirements took center stage. At that point, the measure was months away from being […]
Last month former San Jose mayor Chuck Reed took the first step toward offering a promised draft of a 2016 public pension cutting initiative that, he has hinted, will target the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. CalPERS manages the retirement and health benefits for more than 1.6 million California public employees, retirees and their families. […]
Capital & Main recently looked at a spate of negative headlines about public pension funds, spurred by data that State Controller John Chiang released on his new public data site at ByTheNumbers.sco.ca.gov. Chiang has served as Controller since 2006, acting as California’s Chief Fiscal Officer. He was recently elected as State Treasurer and will […]
“Public Pensions Need Gamblers Anonymous,” blared the op-ed by the American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew Biggs in the Wall Street Journal last week. Can it be true? Did the trustees of CalPERS just take retirement funds for 1.7 million Californians – backed up by our tax dollars – to Las Vegas and put it all on […]
California pension cutters suffered another setback last week when a state appellate court rejected their claims that ballot language written by Attorney General Kamala Harris showed political bias. The decision by Sacramento’s 3rd District Court of Appeal “dismissed as moot” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s appeal of a lower court ruling. This effectively leaves in […]
“California pension funds are running dry,” warned a recent Los Angeles Times headline. “The unfunded liability— that’s the difference between promised benefits and projected funds to fulfill those obligations — grew from about $6.3 billion in 2003 to a little more than $198 billion in 2013,” Santa Rosa’s Press Democrat chimed in, helpfully doing […]
A 40-foot fall isn’t necessarily fatal for the average adult. But for California’s public employees whose jobs require them to routinely work on ladders or mechanical devices at heights more than 40 feet, it was deemed enough of a threat to life and limb to offer them a modest premium in their monthly pay packet. In the case of firefighters, it also […]