The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 17, 2012
A.M. Reading: State workers vouch for Scott Walker plan; CalPERS fires warning shot; ME proposal ends public pensions for criminals; IN workers lose back-pay decision

MI: Scott Walker Allies Launch Ad Campaign
In advance of a near certain recall election, a national ally of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is taking to the airwaves with a new TV ad aimed at bolstering the image of Walker's controversial budget repair law, and features state workers touting the measure's reforms.(National Journal)

Editorial: Our View: Public Employees Bill of Rights Act all wrong
Considering the state of this state and the condition of the world, the so-called Public Employees Bill of Rights Act might be mistaken for satire. The problem is, Assembly Bill 1655, is serious. (Appeal Democrat)

The State Worker: Pension measure autopsy shows multiple causes of death
We're in the ballot initiative wing of the California Political Causes Morgue. On the table, two public pension reform plans that died last week. Scalpel, please. (Sacramento Bee)

Calpers to Buyout Funds: Give Up Carried Interest
California Public Employees' Retirement System's investment chief urged private-equity industry executives to abandon the fight to preserve a lucrative tax break on much of their income or "risk becoming the robber barons of the 21st century." (Wall Street Journal)

Maine lawmaker proposes revoking pensions of public employees convicted of crimes
A Maine state lawmaker thinks public employees convicted of crimes should forfeit their state pensions. (AP / The Republic)

IL: Some Lawmakers Join State Workers Demanding Raises
Thousands of state workers are still fighting for the pay raises the governor canceled this summer, and some lawmakers are now joining the fight. (CBS Chicago)

OR: State workers file suit over wellness program
Five Oregon state workers have asked a federal court to block a new health insurance program that requires them to fill out an online risk assessment survey or pay a monthly penalty. (AP / Gazette Times)

US: Federal Workers Face 'Unprecedented Assault' in U.S. Budget War
Congress is considering ways to cut U.S. federal workers' pay, benefits and possibly their jobs even as a record number are borrowing against pensions. (Bloomberg)

IN:Supreme Court cuts back pay for state workers
Current and former state employees will be getting far less back pay than they had hoped for under a decision issued Thursday by the Indiana Supreme Court. (Indianapolis Star)

MI: America's Youth Uprising
The uprising of February 2011 made a single word, "Wisconsin," not just the name of a state but the reference point for a renewal of labor militancy, mass protest and radical politics. But it did something else. It signaled that a new generation of young Americans would not just reject the lie of austerity. They would lead a fight-back that has extended from the Capitol in Madison to Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan and across the United States. (The Nation)

MI: Tim Scubick: State government offices next cost-cutting target
Please file this under, "What in the heck will they think of next?" (

LA: Agency urged to pay ex-workers' premiums
With hundreds of state workers facing layoffs, Office of Group Benefits board member Kenneth Krefft offered a suggestion Wednesday at a board meeting. (The Advocate)

Michigan Unions Sue to Halt Mandated DB-or-DC Choice
A Michigan law requiring state employees to either contribute 4% of pay to the $9.1 billion Michigan State Employees' Retirement System or join a defined contribution plan is unconstitutional because the state Legislature overstepped its authority in passing the law, according to a lawsuit seeking class-action status filed Monday by a coalition of unions. (Workforce)

FL: Bill to allow random drug tests of state workers voted down in Budget committee
A bill that would have allowed random drug tests for state workers died in the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. (Miami Herald)

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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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