The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 11, 2011
A.M. Reading: CalPERS computer system; R.I. unions fight back; merit raises for Wyo. workers?

CalPERS rolling out pricey digital project
It was an extraordinary moment - the head of America's largest public pension fund publicly ripping a vendor for delays and cost overruns in a computer project. Now, nearly two years after the tirade by CalPERS board President Rob Feckner, that project is wrapping up. On Sept. 19, CalPERS debuts its new computer system. It's two years late and $228 million over its original budget. (Sacramento Bee)

John Tillman: Gov. Quinn Using State Workers as Pawns (Fox Chicago)

Democratic Surrender on Pension Reform Could Doom Party Bid to Raise Taxes
Democrats and the interest groups that back them made a greedy decision this week -- that will cost the state and its public institutions in the future. That decision: to abandon pension reform. The legislature, instead of passing measures on which there is bipartisan agreement, passed legislation promising to do something to curb pension abuses... sometime... in the future... presumably before the extinction of mankind. (NBC LA)

Coming soon: A battle over South Carolina pensions
Key House and Senate lawmakers will return to Columbia next week to discuss the future of the state's retirement system -- the first round in what is sure to be a tense, emotional battle during the next legislative session. Gov. Nikki Haley hinted at the stakes last week, telling a Lexington group that current state workers might have to work more years to earn a full retirement.

Suggested change would boost state's pension costs in future
If the state actuary's recommendations are adopted next month, Washington's future pension costs will rise at a time the state already is considering new and deeper spending cuts. (Bellingham Herald)

Bad time for Senate staff raises: editorial
Ohio Senate President Thomas Niehaus appears to have a blind spot. He was among the Statehouse Republicans who voted for Senate Bill 5, aimed at curbing the bargaining clout, pay and benefits of public employees in the state.
Then he ladled out pay raises to 19 Senate employees.

Unions in R.I. launch 'fight back' campaign over pensions
PROVIDENCE -- "Politicians at the Rhode Island State House are at it again -- and your pension is in serious jeopardy." That is the theme of a "fight back" campaign launched Friday by eight of the state's public-employee unions, working together as the "Rhode Island Retirement Security Coalition." (Providence Journal)

Oregon Public Employees Retirement System to release data on retired members
The pension benefits of retired individual public employees in Oregon will no longer be kept secret under a legal settlement that the state pension system signed this week with The Oregonian and the Salem Statesman Journal. (Portland Oregonian)

Health plan changes overwhelm employees
Health insurance for state workers in 2012 will be vastly different from the coverage they now receive, according to the final health plan design recently adopted by the Public Employees' Benefit Board. (Statesman Journal)

Unions seeking to delay ballot measure on 'rainy day fund'
Public employee unions never liked former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to ask voters to create a "rainy day fund" that would give the state a stronger reserve. Today, on the last day of the legislative session, they showed up in force to urge lawmakers to unravel Schwarzenegger's plan to put the question to voters next year. (Sacramento Bee)

Longer Cut in State Take-Home Pay?
SANTA FE - Gov. Susana Martinez's proposed fix for New Mexico's cash-strapped unemployment fund could extend a temporary decrease in take-home pay for state workers and teachers - at least for one year.he Martinez administration is pushing a plan to shore up the fund. The proposal hinges on the transfer of $130 million in reserves over the next two budget years. However, some lawmakers are wary of that idea, partly because of the effect it could have on state employees. (Albuquerque Journal)

Wyoming mulls merit raises for state employees
CHEYENNE -- Lawmakers are considering a proposal to offer state employees performance-based raises for the first time since the 1980s. (Billings Gazette)

To see our vast archive of searchable A.M. Reading headlines, go to Publish2.

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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