The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 21, 2011
A.M. Reading: Prison 'realignment'; Texas ends weekend lunches for some inmates; prison costs hinder budget cuts

Prison realignment reduces time Sacramento man will be behind bars
In Sacramento, the face of realignment from prison to jail belongs to a 64-year-old heroin addict. He is a Vietnam War combat veteran, a disabled Oak Park diabetic with a bad liver and bad kidneys. He has a wife, two grown kids and a criminal record that goes back to the early Nixon administration. (Sacramento Bee)

AB109 Taking Shape in Monterey County

NYC pension funds are cost-effective - report
Traditional pension plans provide a "better bang for the buck" for New York City public employees, paying the same retirement benefits as those used in the private sector but at a significantly lower cost, according to a report issued by the comptroller on Thursday. (Reuters)

The cost of incarceration: Should Vt inmates be let out?
"I'm a nonviolent offender and I come out here and work so I get a day off my sentence," inmate Amanda Knight said. Knight is serving 3-7 years behind bars for selling drugs. This mom of two is part of a work crew exchanging labor for early release. A deal she-- and many other low-level, nonviolent offenders in the state-- are grateful for. (WCAX)

Senate Blocks Funds for State Workers
WASHINGTON--The Senate blocked a proposal Thursday to send $35 billion to states to retain or rehire teachers and other public sector workers, marking a second setback for President Barack Obama's jobs package. (Wall Street Journal)

State Prisons Will Reap Benefits From Solar
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation today announced that it will begin installing solar panels that will generate 25 megawatts of power at five prisons across the state. Unlike a series of negative benefit installations by the Navy, these projects are expected to save taxpayers over $57 million over the next 20 years, the department predicts. (San Diego Reader)

'Airtime' pension perk targeted for reform?

Growing prison populations hinder budget cuts
WASHINGTON -- The rising number of prisoners serving costly life terms across the country is complicating state officials' efforts to make dramatic cuts to large prison budgets, lawmakers and criminal justice officials said. (USA Today)

In Bid to Cut Costs at Some Texas Prisons, Lunch Will Not Be Served on Weekends
HOUSTON -- Texas prison officials last month ended the decades-old practice of serving last meals to inmates about to be executed after one man ordered an elaborate feast of hamburgers, pizza and chicken-fried steaks that he did not eat. But the 300 inmates on death row are not the only ones coping with food restrictions. Thousands of other inmates in the Texas prison system have been eating fewer meals since April after officials stopped serving lunch on the weekends in some prisons as a way to cut food-service costs. (New York Times)

State doesn't wait for overdue union efficiency ideas
State employee unions insist they can make government more efficient without cutting vital services, but they are fumbling their chance to prove it. The labor-management panels that were to identify $170 million in efficiencies as part of last summer's concession deal haven't met yet. And with the fiscal year already 3-½ months along, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration seems to have moved on, drawing its own blueprint to determine which state agencies will be cut to cover nearly all of the concession savings target. (Connecticut Mirror)

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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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