The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 23, 2012
AM Reading: Republicans support Jerry Brown's pension plan; San Jose workers oppose pension change plan; new twist on private prisons

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifThe State Worker: GOP backs Jerry Brown's plan on pensions
Last year, Republicans in the state Legislature rejected Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's offer to put public pension reform on a statewide ballot. On Wednesday, those same Republicans introduced a package of pension rollbacks for the November ballot written by ... Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. (Sacramento Bee)

UC Davis officials sued over pepper spraying
Three months after being pepper sprayed or allegedly roughed up by UC Davis campus police during an Occupy demonstration, 19 students and alumni Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit claiming that their free speech and assembly rights were violated in the controversial incident. (Los Angeles Times)

Finance chief Matosantos pleads no contest in drunken-driving case
California Finance Director Ana Matosantos pleaded no contest Tuesday to driving over the legal limit for alcohol last year in downtown Sacramento. (Sacramento Bee)

CA: City workers oppose San Jose's pension reform plans
Tom Saggau doesn't want to see the number of San Jose public servants decrease as a side effect of poor negotiating. (Peninsula Press)

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Caltrans says safety relies on area drivers
Even when he's not driving -- just standing on Southern California freeways -- Caltrans maintenance worker Maurice Coggins has his eyes on the road. (Press-Enterprise)

CA: ASH reports 2 new attacks on employees
Two employees at Atascadero State Hospital were attacked last week, ASH spokesman Craig Dacus said. The attacks by patients occurred in two separate incidents Wednesday. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)

US: Private Prison Corporation Offers Cash In Exchange For State Prisons
As state governments wrestle with massive budget shortfalls, a Wall Street giant is offering a solution: cash in exchange for state property. Prisons, to be exact. (Huffington Post)

FL: Judge mulls Rick Scott's order to drug test state workers
A federal judge in Miami is hearing arguments on the constitutionality of Gov. Rick Scott's executive order requiring drug testing for thousands of state workers. (Florida Today)

IL: Bucking the law? State workers disciplined for dumping road kill
State transportation officials say they are "sad and appalled" by the actions of some of their workers who face disciplinary action for dumping animal carcasses on private property in the northern suburbs. (Chicago Sun-Times)

SC House budget panel OKs 2% raise for state workers
State employees and teachers would get a 2 percent pay raise starting July 1 under a spending plan approved Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee. (Rock Hill Herald)

SC: Group says pensions vital for state workers
COLUMBIA - A group of public employees in South Carolina is asking legislators not to drastically change the state pension system. Legislators say reforming the retirement system for public workers is a top priority this year, in order to shore up the system and ensure workers get their checks decades from now. A bi-partisan House panel has drafted a plan after months of meetings but has not yet introduced the expected bill. (AP / The Item)

MA: Number of state workers with six-figure salaries skyrockets
Under the watchful eye of the Patrick administration, the number of state workers with six-figure salaries has skyrocketed by 38 percent since 2007. (My Fox Boston)

Tennessee Comptroller releases critical report of state civil service system
NASHVILLE -- State Comptroller Justin Wilson today released a critical report on the state's civil service system that is likely to aid arguments by Gov. Bill Haslam, a fellow Republican, that it needs a major overhaul. (Times Free Press)

AL: EDITORIAL: State mental health plan is too dangerous
So here's the plan, as we understand it: Move dangerously mental ill inmates to a high-profile spot in Alberta, open a state prison on the edge of downtown Tuscaloosa just off Jack Warner Parkway and release all the current residents at Bryce Hospital and the state's other residential psychiatric institutions into the community. That's it in a nutshell. (Tuskaloosa News)

IL: Trickle-down effect seen from state facility closures
Jacksonville and Lincoln both are medium-size cities in central Illinois. Both have state prisons. Both have two colleges. Both used to be home to MII Inc. manufacturing facilities before they were shuttered. (State Journal-Register)

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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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