The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 21, 2008
Billwatch: Bill to open CalPERS to private sector looks dead

The State Worker has fielded a few calls about the status of a bill that would allow private workers and businesses to open retirement accounts administered by CalPERS. You may recall that Assembly Bill 2940, by Assemblyman Kevin de León, wasn't too popular with CalPERS at first. The Los Angeles Democrat promised to tweak it, and the fund took a neutral-with-changes position.

Many state workers worried about the bill. Would it divert CalPERS from its mission to benefit public employees? How would the fund keep public and private money from commingling? Who would bear the start-up costs?

Aside from the fact that the state's budget impasse has locked down nearly all other legislative business, AB 2940 looks dead -- at least for this legislative session. Although the Assembly passed the measure in May, it's now stuck in the Senate Appropriations Committee's infamous suspense file where many bills go to die a quiet death. You can read the bill's language and its legislative history by clicking here.

We talked this morning to de León spokesman Dan Reeves. He said the outlook for getting a deal done this term is unlikely, especially given the Legislature's focus right now on the budget. Will de León revive the idea next year?

"Absolutely," Reeves said.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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