The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 20, 2011
A.M. Reading: Assembly fights budget request; 'precision budgeting' saves Ark.; too many managers in Mich.?

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifCalifornia Assembly says budget records lawsuit 'unfounded'
The California Assembly has criticized as "unfounded and unnecessary" a public-records lawsuit filed by The Bee and Los Angeles Times seeking access to current fiscal records. (Sacramento Bee)

Amid failures, Jerry Brown's job approval rating rises
While politicians all around him watched their popularity plunge in the weak economy, Gov. Jerry Brown ducked the slide. Despite California's high unemployment rate and major legislative failures in his first nine months in office, Brown's job approval rating ticked up three percentage points since June, to 49 percent, according to a new Field Poll. (Sacramento Bee)

New poll reflects divide on bargaining limits
Madison - Just over half of Wisconsin voters support limiting collective bargaining for public workers, but a similar number oppose a new state law that does just that, according to a new poll done for a free-market group. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Arkansas approach: How one state has avoided fiscal disaster
A few states have escaped the worst of the recession, and for the most part that is for one reason: They derive massive amounts of revenue from oil and gas or other mineral extraction. It's not easy to find states without major wealth in the ground that have managed to avoid fiscal crisis. ... But there is at least one: Arkansas. With money in the bank at the end of every budget year since 2007 and only minor spending cuts, it has averted employee layoffs, short-term borrowing and protracted budget debates. (

Editorial: Need a Paid Vacation? How 'bout a Bar Fight?
Another incident worthy of the Jerry Springer Show, another public employee on paid leave. nother day in the Land of Disenchantment. The latest home-grown embarrassment to hit YouTube involves two Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center corrections officers and a brawl at the West Side Hooters over "Monday Night Football." (Albuquerque Journal)

Cutting managers could help Michigan
Gov. Rick Snyder took a step onto some new turf last week, and citizens should be glad that he did. Snyder asked state personnel staff to study whether the state workforce has too many managers. (Lansing Statesman Journal)

Committee creating new health plans for N.J. public workers misses deadline
TRENTON -- Public workers looking for the cheaper health plans promised after benefit reforms will not have those choices by October's open enrollments, while their existing "Cadillac" plans threaten double-digit increases in premiums. (Star-Ledger)

Judge: Striking Wash. teachers could be replaced
TACOMA, Wash. -- A judge said Monday he's considering giving Washington state's third-largest school district the option of replacing teachers on the picket line as a strike continued despite the judge's order to return to work. (Associated Press / Sacramento Bee)

State workers fear pay cuts
COLUMBUS -- Just a few weeks after Ohio voters decide whether to keep or kill Senate Bill 5, state officials and labor leaders will head to the bargaining table around the holidays to start negotiating new contracts that will cover 38,567 unionized state workers. (Dayton Daily News)

State labor commissioner defends public-policy√ā¬†promotion
OKLAHOMA CITY - Labor Commissioner Mark Costello said Monday that there is nothing wrong with his use of a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization to promote his personal brand of labor law reform. ... Costello said he is most interested in "paycheck protection" - a phrase that means eliminating the right of labor organizations to have dues taken out of state employees' paychecks. He refers to the practice as the state being the "bagman for union bosses." (Tulsa World)

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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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