The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 17, 2011
Public pension initiative can begin collecting signatures

JM CALPERS ENTER.JPGThe proponent of a ballot measure requiring public pensions in California to invest most of their assets in California firms can begin collecting the signatures from 807,615 registered voters to qualify the measure for the November 2012 election.

The proposal would require the state's public sector pension systems to maintain at least 85 percent of their investments in California-based businesses. The goal is to boost economic activity in the state.

The Legislative Analyst's Office said the measure wouldn't accomplish that goal and would probably hurt funds' investment returns.

Cal Watchdog has reported that Michael Lee Madsen, Sr., who submitted the initiative, is a North Highlands activist who lists his activities as "writing scripts and petitions." We've emailed him for a response to the LAO criticisms and to find out whether he has money to collect signatures by the Jan. 12, 2012, deadline. We'll let you know if we hear back.

Here's the attorney general's title and summary of the measure:

Title and Summary 11-0018 Final

PHOTO CREDIT: CalPERS building in downtown Sacramento. (Sacramento Bee/ Jay Mather).

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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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