The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 18, 2011
A.M. Reading: R.I. pensions; Canada's retirement plan; Mo. pays least

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifRhode Island Public Workers to See Reduced Benefits
Rhode Island lawmakers took aggressive steps Thursday to overhaul the state's ailing pension system, passing legislation that sharply curtails retirement benefits for both current and retired public workers. (Wall Street Journal)

RI pension debate may be heading from the Statehouse to the courthouse
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rhode Island is taking dramatic steps toward fixing one of the nation's most underfunded public pension systems, but the true battle with public-sector unions may be just beginning. (AP / Washington Post)

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown's budget gimmick falls short
Jerry Brown sought his second stint as governor last year by promising to balance the deficit- riddled state budget without gimmicks. (Sacramento Bee)

State pension fund in worse shape despite reforms
FRANKFORT -- The state pension fund is in worse shape than ever despite a reform attempt the General Assembly passed in 2008, the fund's advisers said Thursday. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

California settles lawsuit over adult day care program
Advocates for the elderly and the disabled applauded a federal court settlement Thursday that replaces California's Adult Day Health Care program, long a target of state budget reductions, with a similar community-based program that allows low-income, frail seniors to remain in their own homes. (Sacramento Bee)

Salary study: State workers make less than counterparts
Two human resource workers could do roughly the same job -- one for the state and one in the private sector -- but when their paycheck comes, chances are the state worker's check would be 20 percent less. (Salt Lake City Tribune)

New federal bill targets 60% of Canadians with no pensions
OTTAWA -- The federal Conservative government officially introduced legislation Thursday to establish Pooled Registered Pension Plans that are designed to boost Canadians' retirement savings. (Calgary Herald)

Expected cuts will hit state workers hardest
The economic forecast released Thursday points to more stringent belt-tightening for Oregon state government in the months ahead, with state workers poised to take the brunt of the impact. (Statesman Journal)

Governor Scott Sends Legal Defense Work Out of State - to a Firm with Ties to both Him and GOP
BRADENTON - Law firms seem to be among the chief benefactors of Governor Scott's reign, though not all of them are Florida firms. The state has paid almost $400,000 to the law firm of Alston and Bird just since August to defend a new state law that requires public employees to contribute 3 percent of their pay to the state pension fund. (Bradenton Times)

State recommends 2% pay raise for last-in-the-nation Missouri government employees
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - With Missouri's public employees continuing to make less on average than workers in any other state, lawmakers are faced with the question of how to straighten out years of salary neglect. (Missouri News Horizon)

Legislature tackles 'double-dipping' practice of retiring, rehiring
MADISON -- State lawmakers held a hearing Thursday on two bills that would limit the ability of public employees who retired but were rehired to collect a paycheck and a pension simultaneously. (Green Bay Press Gazette)

Panel approves first Wis. pay plan under union law
A Republican-controlled legislative committee on Thursday approved the first Wisconsin state employee pay plan created under a new law that takes away nearly all collective bargaining rights for public workers, despite objections from those who will be covered by it. (AP / Bloomberg Businessweek)

Colo. Spends $200K+ To Find Out State Workers Think Their Work Is Important
DENVER -- A survey of state workers shows they think the work they do is important, but they are concerned about their chances for advancement. (ABC 7 News)

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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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