A New Approach to Pension Reform – How to Prepare

Between 1999 and 2007, most city and county governments enacted retroactive pension benefit increases that more than doubled their pension costs with no end in sight. Cities and counties have been fighting back in court with some success. One legal challenge raised most recently against Sonoma County is based on California Government Code Section 7507, […]

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Pleasanton reviews options for confronting unfunded pension liabilities

From PleasantonWeekly.com: There are many reasons the city of Pleasanton — along with scores of other public employers throughout California, including the Pleasanton Unified School District — are staring down higher retiree costs. The four primary causes, according to Bartel, are CalPERS investment losses during and after the recession, enhanced retirement benefits given to employees, […]

Janus v. AFSCME oral arguments set for Feb. 26 

It’s time for the U.S. Supreme Court to restore government workers’ First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of association. No government worker should be forced to pay for union politics as a condition of employment.   Washington, D.C. (Dec. 20, 2017) – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear oral arguments […]

Privatized Prosecutions Are Coming To California

Across America there are harrowing tales of public agencies using private firms to enforce laws and ordinances. From the troubling IRS privatizing collections of past-due taxes, to the more sinister “alternatives to incarceration” industry, or the terrifying “ex-parte guardianship” scam, exploitative public/private partnerships abound. Often the potential for corruption and abuse is huge, as a supposedly […]

City finance director says Oroville faces specter of bankruptcy

SACRAMENTO – Most Californians are aware of the near-calamity at the tallest earthen dam in the nation, which sits east of the Butte County city of Oroville. More than 188,000 residents were evacuated in February after a large portion of the main spillway threatened to give way amid heavy rains. Talk of “Oroville” often centers […]

In Search of Heroes

California is not just any “blue state.” By many measures, California is a blue nation. It boasts the world’s sixth largest economy, isolated from the rest of the nation by mountains and deserts that were virtually impassable before modern times. It is blessed with diverse industries, abundant natural resources, and the most attractive weather in […]