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.