The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 21, 2011
A.M. Reading: Caltrans; Brown's pension plan; watching R.I.

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifEditorial: Gov. Brown needs to fix the culture of Caltrans
The debacle involving Caltrans' lax bridge inspections didn't take place on Gov. Jerry Brown's watch. But Caltrans' response is happening during his administration. So far, that response has been defensive, arrogant, dismissive and not the least bit reassuring. (Sacramento Bee)

Our View: Is Brown serious about pensions?
GOV. Jerry Brown has a golden opportunity to lead by example, to show us he's serious about putting independent, financially sophisticated people in charge of public pension systems that manage investments worth tens of billions of dollars. (Pasadena Star-News)

Brown polishing his tax plan
Gov. Jerry Brown is drafting a ballot initiative that would raise income taxes on the wealthy and hike sales taxes for everyone, insiders say. Much political finesse is involved. Each step is delicate. (Los Angeles Times)

LETTER: You're welcome to join my 'real world'
As a state employee I've had a lot of people come up to me and say, "Welcome to the real world," as if I've been in some alternate reality. (The Fond du Lac Reporter)

Editorial: UC must make amends for use of excessive force
Young people on campuses and across the country are angry, and it isn't hard to see why. College students have seen their tuition and fees increased. As a story in The Bee's business section noted today, only one fourth of Americans ages 25-34 have jobs. (Sacramento Bee)

Furlough requirement unmet by nearly 400 state workers
About 400 Oregon state employees failed to take their fair share of furlough days during the 2009-11 budget period, according to estimates from the Oregon Department of Administrative Services. (Statesman Journal)

Guest opinion: Fla. state workers pay plenty for their health insurance
I work for the state. Every pay period, the state pays $264 for my family's health insurance policy, and I contribute $316. That means I pay, out-of-pocket, a little over $7,500 per year to cover two adults and one child. (

Opinion: Gov. Chris Christie's verbal attack on Judge Feinberg is bullying at its worst
... The latest example of the governor's over-the-top verbal bullying is his recent "stinging criticism" (term used by The Times in "Christie criticizes judge's health plan ruling," Oct. 19) of Superior Court Assignment Judge Linda Feinberg. Gov. Christie "lashed out" (term used by The Star-Ledger Oct. 18) at Judge Feinberg's ruling that sitting judges are protected by the state constitution from salary reductions while in office and as a result are exempt from the governor's new pension and health benefit plan requiring them to contribute a larger share of their salaries. (

UK Public Pensions: Govt Threatens Stricter Strike Laws
In the latest news of a bitter battle over public sector pensions, the government has said that it might toughen the laws on strikes if trade unions decide to continue with coordinated industrial action scheduled for the end of this month. (

Displaced Vt. State Hospital workers speak out
With Vermont nearing the end of the third month of a storm-imposed experiment in getting along without a central state psychiatric hospital, workers at the closed Waterbury facility gathered this past week to issue a warning: You can't get along without us. (AP / Washington Examiner)

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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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