The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 21, 2011
A.M. Reading: CA Lottery director named; CA hospital assaults; AZ cashouts; OR retirements soar

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifJerry Brown names lottery director, faces vacancies on commission
Gov. Jerry Brown has named a former business consultant as director of the California Lottery.Robert O'Neill, a 60-year-old former executive with the global audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP, will oversee an agency with about $3 billion in game sales each year. It provides about $1 billion to schools. (Sacramento Bee)

Gov. Christie signs bill that would delay closing of Vineland Developmental Center
Gov. Chris Christie today signed a bill creating a special task force whose special review duties would at least temporarily delay the closing of the Vineland Developmental Center. (Press of Atlantic City)

Outgoing CalPERS Board Member Criticizes Fund Earnings
During the last decade, investment earnings at the largest public pension fund in the United States have been below the median among institutional investors. In response to Wilshire's quarterly earnings report showing below-median earnings by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the fund's outgoing board member, Lou Moret, told "We are glossing over this, and it looks horrible." (

Thumbnail image for 111221 butterbeer.JPGFind out who won the Jerry Brown butterbeer caption contest
It's no Barnabus Finkley Prize for Exceptional Spell-Casting, but we like to think that being named a Capitol Alert Caption Contest winner is kind of a big deal in the muggle world. The results are in for our most recent round of votes. The entry whose caption (of the picture at right) commanded the most laughter among our readers? No. 8: "Why is this Christmas beer from CCPOA warm and taste funny?" (Sacramento Bee)

In Calif. Mental Hospitals, Assaults Rarely A Crime
Thousands of violent incidents occur every year in California's psychiatric hospitals, but very few are treated as crimes. Among the exceptions was the murder last year of a hospital staffer by a patient. But for the most part, it's been a challenge for the criminal justice and mental health systems to figure out how to deal with assaults by the mentally ill. (NPR)

More than 8,000 in Oregon PERS retire in 2011
More than 8,000 Oregon public employees put in their retirement paperwork in 2011, a number 44 percent higher than the average of recent years, according to the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System. (Statesman Journal)

Editorial: Double-dipping
Backers of a proposed state law say it would end 'double-dipping' among government employees -- a criticized practice in which a public employee retires and begins collecting his pension, but is immediately rehired into the same or another government job, thus collecting a salary on top of pension payments. (Columbus Dispatch)

Retiring Arizona public employees get to cash in years of unused sick days
Local and state governments in Arizona allowed some 2,400 public employees to cash in thousands of hours of accumulated unused sick leave last year, at an average cost to taxpayers of $11,419 per employee, public records compiled by The Arizona Republic show. (Arizona Republic)

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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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