The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 3, 2009
McCauley initiative falls short -- again

It's another swing and another miss for initiative impresario Paul McCauley, the Southern California CPA who seems determined to press his crusade to roll back public employee pensions, $200 at a time.

Why $200? That's what it costs to file an initiative with the Secretary of State's office, like his McCauley Pension Recovery Act, which failed to get the 433,971 signatures by Oct. 15 it needed to go before voters. Click here to see the official announcement from State Secretary Debra Bowen's office.

This item was the latest of several failed attempts by McCauley to get self-titled reform measures on a statewide ballot. This one would have created new taxes on California residents who get more than $40,000 annually from pension distributions, social security, and the cash value of health care benefits. It also imposed a one-time tax on people living outside California whose pension benefits exceed $50,000 in a year and who earned income in the state before they retired.

The Legislative Analyst's Office concluded that the plan might have been illegal, as we reported here.

We've contacted McCauley via e-mail with questions about his latest effort and asked: Why did this measure fail to gain enough signatures to get on the ballot? Will he try again? Does he have other ballot measures in the works?

If McCauley responds, we'll let you know what he says.

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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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