The Costs of Brown's Pension Plan... In Money and Politics

February 15, 2012 · Filed Under CA Government, The Governor · 4 Comments 

Brown's pension plan is the Capitol's hot potato. (Photo: Getty/Max Whittaker)

For weeks, the conventional wisdom around the Capitol has been that Governor Jerry Brown's proposal to create a hybrid pension/401(k) system for future government employees faced long odds with legislative Democrats.

Now, they've got something on which to base their opposition: a study by CalPERS that suggests such a system may not be all it's cracked up to be.

The report released late Tuesday concludes that Brown's plan (at least in as much as a work-in-progress could be analyzed) would "lower retirement benefits for new employees and shift the risk from employers to employees."
Read more

Political Inside Game, Outside Game... All in One Day

January 31, 2012 · Filed Under CA Government, CA Politics, Legislation, Money In Politics · Comments Off 

You don't get many political multi-tasking days like this one: heated debate over legislation down to its final day to survive, a new alarm over the state's finances, and public disclosure of all the campaign cash raised by candidates and campaigns in 2011.

Phew.
Read more

Reformers Team Up for November Ballot

January 26, 2012 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, CA Government, Elections · 1 Comment 

Coming to the November ballot: government reform? (Photo: Getty/Eric Tahyer)

Advocates for major government reform have long lamented that if only they could find the financial backing for a political campaign, the voters would ratify changes to help end California's dysfunction.

Now, it looks as though the white knight has ridden in... on his own jet.

The reform group assembled and underwritten by billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, the Think Long Committee for California, today endorsed and pledged its support to the wide-ranging initiative drafted by another reform group, California Forward.

Wonder Twin powers, activate!
Read more

Capitol Ponders Post-Redevelopment World

January 12, 2012 · Filed Under CA Government, Legislation · 8 Comments 

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told reporters this morning that he's not closing the door on pleas to postpone the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies.

But let's admit it: the door is on one of those automatic arms that closes by itself, and Steinberg isn't jumping up to prop it open.

As such, the conversation inside the state Capitol is likely soon to turn to what California's post-redevelopment world will look like... and Steinberg is cooking up an interesting idea.
Read more

Speaker Perez: Fix Water Bond. And More.

January 4, 2012 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Government · 2 Comments 

"There are superfluous projects that are included in that water bond," says Assembly Speaker John Perez. (File Photo: Getty/Justin Sullivan)

As the Legislature returns to Sacramento, the leader of the lower house is sounding confident but cautious on some of the more challenging issues in year ahead.

And so the headlines from an interview with Assembly Speaker John Perez in his Capitol office: shrink November's massive state water bond, keep high speed rail on track, be cautious on the budget, find an alternative to local redevelopment agencies.
Read more

Panel: High Speed Rail Plans Not Fully Cooked

January 3, 2012 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Government, Transportation · 2 Comments 

Will this artist's depiction of high speed rail in California come to pass? A new report raises questions. (Image: CA High Speed Rail Authority)

A panel of independent reviewers says that without more certainty on funding and operations, any start to construction of a high speed rail system "represents an immense financial risk to the state of California."

The new report is further proof that 2012 will be the most important year yet in the debate over the ambitious but costly bullet train system.
Read more

California Political Stories to Watch in 2012

January 1, 2012 · Filed Under CA Government, CA Politics · 6 Comments 

A new year has arrived and, now that we've closed the book on 2011, here's a glimpse into the crystal ball at what might be some of the interesting things around the bend in California politics for 2012.

Yes, some of them are more likely than others. But foresight isn't 20/20, so take this with all of the appropriate caveats.
Read more

California Supremes Rule, Redevelopment is History

December 29, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Government · 7 Comments 

The ruling from the California Supreme Court means that, absent legislative intervention, local redevelopment agencies must close their doors.

In a ruling that is no doubt sending shock waves through city halls across California, the state Supreme Court has ruled that only half of a state budget proposal diverting redevelopment dollars is legal. That split decision means that more than 400 local redevelopment agencies must cease operations -- for good -- sometime in 2012.

As it turns out, the comment made during last month's court hearing by the attorney representing the state. "The redevelopment agencies took a gamble on this lawsuit," said deputy state attorney Ross Moody.

And it's a gamble they lost.
Read more

The 2012 Battle Over High Speed Rail

December 20, 2011 · Filed Under CA Government, CA Politics, Transportation · 8 Comments 

High speed rail, well established in places like China, may have to fight for its survival in California. (Getty Images)

It's hardly hyperbole to suggest that 2012 will be the make-or-break year for California's long standing plans to construct a high speed train system.

As supporters push forward on plans to break ground on construction by year's end, critics are demanding a second look and... perhaps... a scrapping of the project altogether. And both camps have the political firepower to wage an epic battle.
Read more

Brown's Pension Musings: From Ponzi to Castor Oil

December 1, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, CA Government, The Governor · 10 Comments 

Getty/Max Whittaker

Few governors could probably pull off an appearance like Governor Jerry Brown's visit to a legislative committee examining his proposal to rework the public employee pension system.

But as he's proved before, Brown often seems to believe that when it comes to explaining his ideas... he's best the guy for the job.
Read more

Next Page »

  • RSS FEED

    rss

    Subscribe to our blog feed and you'll never miss a post!


Sponsored by