Schwarzenegger appointed Percy to a spot on the CalSTRS board (compensation: $100 per diem) in December, as Gov. Jerry Brown's website notes. At 26, Percy has a graduate degree from Stanford and business experience with a couple of companies.
As a Stanford grad student, Percy helped author "Going For Broke: Reforming California's Public Employee Pension Systems," which Schwarzenegger and Co. referenced as a source for the oft-cited and highly disputed calculation that California's Big Three pension systems faced a collective $500 billion in unfunded liabilities.
CalSTRS' piece of that, according to the year-old study: $156.7 billion. Fund officials have said that's an overestimation.
(The fund says it had $146.4 billion in assets the end of 2010. Figures posted on its website show that its funding level was 78 percent as of June 30, 2009, but STRS has made investment gains since then. Generally, 80 percent funding is considered the threshold for healthy public pension systems -- although that rule of thumb, like most things about public pensions, has been a topic of debate.)
The Senate has a year to confirm Percy's appointment. We called Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's office and asked when the Rules Committee might take it up. Spokesman Nathan Barankin said there's no firm date yet: "But governors make their own decisions about appointments. Anyone can be yanked with the stroke of a pen."