The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 19, 2011
A.M. Reading: Sacramento pay cuts and pay increases; states slash payrolls; OR officials' travel spending; NM looks a retiree benefits change

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifSacramento region governments cut from the bottom while adding to the top
Several local cities sliced their payrolls through layoffs last year by cutting those who made the least. And they ended up paying more employees six-figure salaries. (The Sacramento Bee)

AP data: States shed thousands of public employees
State governments across the country have cut more than 80,000 jobs since the beginning of the recession, reflecting steep drops in tax revenue and providing a drag on the economies in many parts of the country, the Associated Press has found. (AP / The Boston Globe)

Perry "Retires" to Boost Pension Pay
Rick Perry has done something his opponents have been hoping he'd do for years: retire. But it's not what the governor's detractors had in mind. (The Texas Tribune)

Rick Perry's Pension Problem -- And Ours
... But Rick Perry is not the only government official double-dipping on salaries and pensions, nor is his $92,000 pension the one that will bankrupt the taxpayers. (The Huffington Post)

Fired Caltrans technician was also sanctioned in 2000
Caltrans technician Duane Wiles, who falsified test data on the structural integrity of freeway structures, was sanctioned by the state Department of Transportation in 2000 for numerous serious workplace violations, including "inexcusable neglect of duty," yet was retained as a technician until last month. (Sacramento Bee)

Recession doesn't slow travel on the public's dime by Oregon government officials
Debra McHugh, executive director of the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners, traveled to Idaho in October 2009 to attend a conference dedicated to her line of work. She and a board member stayed three nights at the swanky lakefront Coeur d'Alene Golf and Spa Resort. Among the conference perks was a dinner cruise on the lake. (The Oregonian)

More than 60% of best-compensated Oregon PERS beneficiaries in higher education
Two-thirds of the top 100 best-compensated PERS beneficiaries hail from either the Oregon University System or Oregon Health & Science University, according to data recently released by PERS. The top 100 represent retirees receiving $150,000 or more in annual pension benefits. (Statesman Journal)

McDonnell: St. Nick with pension, bonus, higher ed goodies; budget may expose his inner Grinch
RICHMOND, Va. -- Gov. Bob McDonnell's Santa Claus act is likely to hit the wall Monday morning. (Washington Post)

More inmates, fewer workers - are Iowa prisons safe?
ANAMOSA, IA. -- They call it the "Animal House," a rowdy facility with tiers of cells inside the Anamosa State Penitentiary holding 471 inmates convicted of crimes ranging from murder and rape to drug dealing. (Des Moines Register)

NM Health Care Retiree Authority mulls changes to benefits for younger retirees
SANTA FE, N.M. -- The New Mexico Retiree Health Care Authority is considering setting a minimum retirement age before health care subsidies become available, joining the state's two pension funds in broaching the subject as a way to cut costs. (AP / The Republic)

As Florida government costs are cut, some grumble
Gov. Rick Scott is off to a fast start toward keeping his campaign promise to shrink the size and cost of Florida's relatively small and inexpensive state government, according to a new state personnel report. (Tallahassee Democrat)

IMF calls for faster reforms, laying off state workers
On 14 December, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased its pressure on Greece, urging the debt-ridden country to accelerate reforms that are behind schedule in most areas, saying delays are stalling recovery from years of recession. (New Europe)

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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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