The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 7, 2011
A.M. Reading: Calif. unionization push; Ariz. same-sex benefits; Ill. layoff threat angers union

Democrats make last-minute push to unionize California child-care workers
Democratic legislative leaders have launched a last-minute push to allow unions to organize child-care providers who work out of the home. (Sacramento Bee)

Businesses, wealthy should be taxed more, not less
Decisions that Congress will make in the coming months about how to address the nation's long-term deficit will have a great impact on whether we are going to remain a middle-class nation.
Will our children and grandchildren have economic security and opportunity, or will they inherit a nation divided between rich and poor, where retirement security, health care security and educational opportunities are a thing of the past? (Detroit News)

Navarrette: A rare lesson on life's priorities
In my line of work, I've met individuals who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And yet the richest man I know is an educator and public servant. (Ventura County Star)

Lawmakers meet on pension reform
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - State lawmakers met Tuesday evening to discuss pension reform. (WPRI)

AARP warns that R.I. pension-reform plans are 'threat' to retired public employees
PROVIDENCE -- The hand-wringing over Rhode Island's pension crisis has the state chapter of the AARP so worried it has taken out a half-page newspaper ad and booked a radio spot to warn past and present government employees of what is at stake for them in the discussions about to get under way at the State House. (Providence Journal)

Public employee union leaders decry political attacks
When the governors of Wisconsin and Ohio moved this year to limit bargaining rights and benefits of public-employee unions, Bryan Jeffries, president of the United Mesa Firefighters Association, wondered how long it would take Arizona to initiate similar action. "There seems to be a big carrot out there right now for those who wield the anti-union rhetoric," said Jeffries, who represents 762 Southeast Valley firefighters, including Mesa, where 360 of the department's 365 fighters are members. "Anti-union lobbying and union avoidance is a big industry." (Arizona Republic)

Court: Arizona same-sex partners entitled to benefits
Arizona must continue to provide health-care benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian government workers, at least for the time being. (Arizona Republic)

State budgets in crisis
Photo gallery: As U.S. states struggle with unprecedented deficits, they are taking controversial measures to try to boost revenue and keep spending down. (Bloomberg / Washington Post)

Quinn says legislature's budget forcing him to make 'reductions'
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn faced blistering attacks Tuesday from state government's largest public employee union and his 2010 GOP rival for potentially going back on a campaign pledge not to lay off state workers as a response to a $2 billion budgetary shortfall. (Chicago Sun-Times)

One fewer prison, more inmate crowding possible for Illinois
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois' crowded prison system soon could get squeezed even tighter.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday in Chicago that he would announce later this week whether he will send pink slips to thousands of state workers and close several state facilities, including at least one prison. (

Count of lawmakers taking pay cuts up to 59
Fifty-nine Washington state lawmakers have now signed up for a pay cut. (Bellingham Herald)

State websites are recognized
Two Oregon state websites have received awards from the Center for Digital Government's 2011 Digital Government Achievement Awards Program, a state official announced from Salem.
Oregon was honored with the Government to Citizen Award for its open data website,, and the Government to Business Award for the Oregon e-permitting website. (Albany Democrat-Herald)

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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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