The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 28, 2011
A.M. Reading: Brown's pension plan, Ill. state cars go green; 'Occupy Albany'

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifDan Walters: Is Jerry Brown's pension plan real or a ploy?
A few years ago, the California Public Employees' Retirement System's chief actuary gave what he assumed was a private briefing and described the huge system's liabilities as "unsustainable." ... Gov. Jerry Brown, who was elected with critical union support last year, weighed in Thursday by proposing a 12-point pension reform plan that could, if enacted, significantly mitigate those consequences. And he used the same word - "unsustainable" - to describe the pension dilemma. (Sacramento Bee)

Jerry Brown's pension package faces skeptical Legislature
Even as Gov. Jerry Brown announced his plan Thursday to reduce pension benefits for public employees across the state, its prospects of passing intact appeared dim. California's powerful labor interests objected to major parts of the plan, and the leaders of the Democratic-controlled Legislature - neither of whom attended Brown's announcement - reacted warily. (Sacramento Bee)

Jerry Brown's pension plan explained
Gov. Jerry Brown estimates his public pension reform plan would save the state $4 billion to $11 billion over 30 years and $21 billion to $56 billion over 60 years. Local government pensions also would have to comply and would save proportionately similar sums, the administration said Thursday. Here are the details. (Sacramento Bee)

Gov. Jerry Brown risks backlash on pension plan
Reporting from Sacramento -- Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a sweeping overhaul of California pensions that would require public employees to pay more for their retirement and cut benefits for those hired in the future, setting the stage for a fierce battle with fellow Democrats and some of his main political supporters: unions representing government workers. (Los Angeles Times)

'Occupy Albany' vs. 'Governor 1 Percent'
ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was not in Albany on Thursday, but Occupy Albany demonstrators came to the Capitol anyway, in a protest that seemed more about the governor than anything else. (New York Times)

Jail expansion: Counties seek millions from state

Sacramento -- California counties are lining up to secure millions of dollars in state funds to expand jails now that Gov. Jerry Brown's plan is under way to shift the incarceration of some felons from prisons to jails. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Cross: Deal made for pension bill
Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, said he will be ready to call a bill to set up a three-tiered pension system for state workers during the second week of the legislature's veto session, which starts Nov. 8. But demonstrations against Cross' bill, among other employee funding issues, resulted in the Statehouse being closed for about 10 minutes Wednesday as thousands of union members packed the rotunda. (State Journal-Register)

Michigan, state employees reach tentative deal
LANSING, MICH. -- Unions representing about 35,000 state workers soon will be voting on new contracts after a tentative agreement reached Wednesday with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's administration. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

State workers to use fuel-efficient 'Zipcars' to save cash
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois officials are announcing a plan to use hybrid and other fuel-efficient automobiles from a car-sharing company to save gasoline and reduce emissions in conducting state business. (Chicago Tribune)

Wisconsin's Walker: I protected the middle class
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his controversial budget repair bill protected the state's middle class by avoiding layoffs and government expansion that average Wisconsinites would have ended up paying for. (Iowa Independent)

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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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