The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 10, 2011
A.M. Reading: Gauging the pension mood; San Diego pension proposal; Ill. plan would avoid layoffs, closures

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifThe State Worker: Do local pension measures predict statewide outcome?
Politics is a lot like the stock market: Past performance doesn't guarantee future returns. With that caveat, let's look at how the public voted Tuesday and ask: What does this mean for the public pension debate in 2012? (Sacramento Bee)

California lawmakers head to Hawaii to hobnob with Capitol interests
More than a dozen California lawmakers are packing their bags for a weeklong trip to Hawaii to hobnob and discuss key issues with some of the Capitol's most powerful interests. ... The conference is the creation of the California Independent Voter Project, or CAIVP, a nonprofit public policy group backed by Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Chevron, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and other Capitol interests. (Sacramento Bee)

State Workers Outraged About Overspending

SD pension initiative qualifies for June ballot
A proposal that would be the most dramatic change ever to San Diego's public employee pension system has qualified for the ballot after election officials on Tuesday deemed supporters collected enough signatures to put it before city voters next June. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Solvang makes long-term plan to cut benefit costs
As part of a nationwide trend to reduce the cost of taxpayer support for retired public workers, Solvang has adopted a system that will reduce the city's contribution to retiree health care for anyone hired after Nov. 1, 2010. (Santa Ynez Valley News)

Editorial: Salute to S.F.'s collaboration on pension solution
San Francisco, one of the most pro-labor cites in the West, has shown the way to reduce public-employee pension costs in a collaborative way. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Steven Greenhut: Brown pension plan going nowhere
Despite some encouraging details in Gov. Jerry Brown's recently announced pension-reform proposal, there's virtually no chance the state will seriously reform -- or even seriously attempt to reform -- a system creaking under the weight of up to an estimated $500 billion in unfunded liabilities. (Redding Record Searchlight)

EDITORIAL: Back to Common Sense at the Polls
It might have been "too much too soon," a chastened Gov. John Kasich of Ohio admitted on Tuesday night, after his state's voters overwhelmingly rejected his attempt to break public employee unions. (New York Times)

Ohio vote shows unions still a political force
Labor unions are celebrating one of their biggest victories in decades after turning back an Ohio law that curbed collective bargaining rights for the state's public workers. The vote showed unions are still a potent political force that can't be ignored. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Tuesday's election yields mixed lessons nationwide
Voters across the country rejected ballot initiatives close to the heart of conservatives this week, and many Democrats are cheering. But it would be foolhardy to draw too many conclusions from Tuesday's results. (Star-Ledger)

Court rules against former union leader
The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the state does not owe back overtime pay to a former president of state workers union SEIU Local 503. Joseph M. DiNicola, an employee of the Oregon Department of Revenue, claimed the state owed him 2,596 hours of overtime pay -- worth about $109,000 -- that he accumulated while serving as SEIU president during his first term, from 2004 to 2006. (Statesman Journal)

Quinn's new state budget proposal modifies plans for facility closures, layoffs
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn is floating a retooled budget plan that could avert more than 1,900 layoffs and delay the closure of state facilities, including Logan Correctional Center. (Daily Pantagraph)

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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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