The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 20, 2013
The Roundup: CalPERS scandal; furloughs and leave; high court takes state age discrimination case

HA_newspapers3808.JPGCalPERS Criminal Prosecutions Needed To End Public Pension Fraud
Yesterday a federal grand jury indicted two former top officials of CalPERS, the nation's largest public pension fund on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges. Three years after the "pay-to-play" influence peddling scandal surfaced at the $225 billion fund, the Department of Justice may be poised to investigate and prosecute public pension corruption nationally. Take my word for it, there's enough public pension corruption across the country to keep DOJ busy for decades. Forbes

Pensions part of system that actually works right
We elect our state legislators with the hope that they will look out for the public. So it always is sort of a shock when legislators work to undermine government services which work best for people. Heraldnet

Dan Walters: California Legislature 'solving' problems it created
The 2013 session of the California Legislature is nearly four months old, having begun in early December, and lawmakers have done little to earn their salaries and living expense checks. Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown takes notice of realignment complaints
As lawmakers stepped up pressure to modify California's historic prison realignment - most recently at a news conference Tuesday featuring a crime victim in a wheelchair - Gov. Jerry Brown is taking notice. Sacramento Bee

Post-crisis reforms sustainable?
A nationwide study, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, projects that huge pension fund losses during the financial crisis will be offset over three decades by a wave of recently enacted cost-cutting reforms -- but only if several things happen. Public CEO

Oklahoma firefighters rally against consolidating state pension boards
About 400 firefighters showed up outside the Oklahoma Capitol to oppose a plan to consolidate state pension boards. The plan has the support of the governor and state treasurer. The Oklahoman

EDITORIAL: End paid-leave windfalls for state workers
Letting state workers accumulate huge stockpiles of paid time off creates a large and unnecessary taxpayer expense for the future. Legislators should put strict limits on unused leave time, to avoid making an already costly long-term liability even worse. Press Enterprise

U.S. Supreme Court to consider age discrimination case
The Supreme Court has agreed to consider a case about whether state workers alleging age discrimination can sue under federal civil rights law. Reuters

More students, faculty raises part of CSU proposed budget
The California State University system hopes to add 6,000 students, provide raises to faculty and staff and address rate increases for employee health care benefits using an additional $125.1 million in funding allocated in Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed state budget. Sacramento Bee

Kansas House committee advances bill undoing classified system of state employment
TOPEKA, Kansas -- Republicans on a House committee have approved a measure that cuts protections of the classified employment system for many state workers. The Republic

Zaun: State workers should pay portion of health care cost
We are so fortunate to have hard-working Iowans working on our behalf. These are the people who teach our youth, work in prisons, work in human services and plow our highways, to name a few. Many put their lives on the line and for this I am very thankful.

PERS 6 percent pickup has been around 34 years for state workers
1979. The year of the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis. The penultimate year of Jimmy Carter's presidency. The year McDonald's introduced the Happy Meal, China introduced its infamous One Child Policy and actresses Kate Hudson and Claire Danes were born.

Panel Recommends Insurance for Temporary State Workers
The state Senate Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act wants Florida to pay for health insurance for temporary state employees who work more than 30 hours a week.

UPDATE: House Speaker favorable to state worker raises
House Speaker Will Weatherford wants to give across-the-board raises to state workers, but that wish has a long road ahead.

Health Sense: Plan to charge state workers who smoke isn't unique
Anti-smoking advocates oppose Gov. Scott Walker's proposed $50-per-month fee for state employees who smoke.

PHOTO CREDIT: Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee file, 2009

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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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