While The State Worker loves a good pay-and-politics scandal as much as anybody, in this case the rumor is false.
Here's a recent email to The State Worker that succinctly explains the scuttlebutt we've been hearing:
Jon, Wondering if you saw the comment below the article on SEIU leadership that indicates AB 2140 is pending legislation that will reduce CHP retirement contributions by 3%. Wondering if this is accurate information?
Assembly Bill 2140 does roll back pension payments ... for Highway Patrol Academy cadets.
The measure corrects an oversight in Bargaining Unit 5's contract that charged the cadets 10 percent of their pay -- the same percentage that Patrol officers started paying under the terms of their contract, up from the 8 percent mandated in the previous contract.
Cadets are classified as miscellaneous employees for the six months they attend the academy. Before the last contract, they paid 5 percent of their wages toward their pensions. The deal inked two years ago and legislated in Senate Bill 846 was supposed to bump that by 2 percentage points to 7 percent, but a drafting error doubled the cadets' payment to 10 percent, the same as sworn officers'.
From the bill's Assembly analysis:
As a result, CHP cadets are now contributing more than what was agreed upon between the state and CAHP into CalPERS. Further evidence of the intent to have CHP cadets contribute 7% rather than the current 10% can be seen in DPA's fiscal analysis of SB 846 which accurately reflects the intended 7% monthly pension contribution for cadets.
The total overpayments ran about $100,000 per cadet class. The bill, which went through the Assembly without any opposition, is schedule for a hearing before the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee, which convenes today at 2 p.m.