The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 19, 2011
A.M. Reading: At least we ain't Italy; correctional officer indicted; two takes on taxing pensions

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifColumn: The Affliction of Comfort
Milan - JUST when you thought that absolutely nothing could make you feel warm and fuzzy about the American political system, I bring tidings from Italy. Here there are 945 active members of Parliament, in contrast with 535 members of the United States Congress, though Italy's population is less than a fifth of America's. (New York Times)

Prison guard at Susanville correctional center indicted, accused of bribes; tobacco, phone smuggling alleged
A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment Wednesday against a prison guard at California Correctional Center in Susanville. The indictment alleges he accepted at least $15,000 in bribes from inmates to smuggle tobacco and cellular telephones. (Redding Record Searchlight)

Op ed: Voters Want State Government Reform
Americans believe that bold action to restrict spending is necessary to stabilize the finances of state government. Last month, in a wide-ranging national survey of 1,000 randomly selected, registered voters, and in 10 polls in individual states each with 400 respondents, my polling company found that voters strongly favor measures to pare the compensation of current and future public employees. They strongly oppose higher taxes. (Wall Street Journal)

As Michigan passes pension tax, Maine considers repealing one
Republican governors Rick Snyder of Michigan and Paul LePage of Maine were both elected in 2010 on a wave of anti-tax sentiment. But on one important tax question -- what to do about pension income -- they have taken dramatically different positions. (

Colo. treasurer plans to sue state pension fund for access to data
State Treasurer Walker Stapleton plans to file a lawsuit today against the board that manages Colorado's $39 billion pension fund for state workers because the fund has denied his repeated requests for financial data. (Denver Post)

DGS Director Fred Klass Keynote Speech at Executive Briefing Hosted by TechAmerica and Deltek
On September 8, 2011, TechAmerica and Deltek hosted the 7th Annual State of California Technology Executive Seminar featuring top technology leaders. (

Don't add to pension problem by upping cost-of-living raises
Massachusettes needs another round of public-pension reforms. (Boston Globe)

Are PERS pensions a matter of public record?
The amount of pensions received by individual PERS recipients is a matter of public record. Some information will be released this fall, and more next year, under a settlement reached between the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System and two newspapers -- the Statesman Journal and The Oregonian. Some people contend the information is nobody's business, whether nosy neighbors or nosy relatives or nosy taxpayers. Other people argue that because PERS is paid with public dollars, it should be public, just as public employee salaries are. We invited readers on to give their views. (Statesman Journal)

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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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