The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 15, 2013
Lawmaker withdraws bill to open CalPERS mailing list to unions

130415-circle-slash.jpgA bill that would have let unions and retiree groups exploit CalPERS' annuitant mailing list for marketing purposes has died by the author's own hand.

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, pulled Assembly Bill 785 one day after she issued an op-ed piece that touted the measure as a way for retirees to stay informed about pension issues.

Then CalPERS staff delivered an analytical beat-down.

The measure was set for a legislative committee hearing last Wednesday, but Weber asked to cancel it. A call to her office seeking comment today wasn't immediately returned.

The AFSCME-sponsored bill would have allowed groups representing CalPERS annuitants to request that the fund send retirees' address information to third-party mailing houses, which would use the information to send out non-political materials on behalf of the groups. The mailing houses would then destroy the address lists to keep them from being abused. The groups would pay the normal costs of the mailings.

But AB 785, the CalPERS analysis concluded, goes against the fund's policy, weakens the board's authority and "creates legal, financial and information security risks for the System." Staff members recommended the board opposed the bill.

The measure is on Tuesday's agenda for CalPERS' Pension and Health Benefits Committee.

It's moot now.

IMAGE: www.freeclipart.com

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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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