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January 27, 2010 - This report discusses some key issues facing the Legislature in the employee compensation area of the budget. In 2009–10, the state has achieved significant savings due to the Governor’s furlough program, which is being challenged in many court cases. For 2010–11, the Governor proposes various measures to reduce state personnel costs, including shifting pension contribution costs from the state to employees, unallocated reductions in personnel budgets of departments, and an across–the–board salary reduction for employees. These proposals would result in $2.5 billion in savings ($1.4 billion General Fund). We believe that employee compensation reductions are necessary due to the magnitude of the budget problem. Nevertheless, some of the administration’s proposals would face legal challenges or otherwise may be difficult to implement. Consequently, we recommend that the Legislature focus efforts to reduce compensation costs on pay reduction options. Special session.
November 12, 2009 - Presented to the Council of State Governments, La Quinta, California
October 16, 2009 - Recent decisions by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) concluded that the current system used to measure permanent disability (PD) in workers' compensation claims can be challenged. This analysis discusses how the WCAB’s decisions could lead to (1) changes in PD ratings, (2) increased incentive for litigation, and (3) decreased uniformity in determining PD. Ultimately, the likely result would be increased benefits for workers and higher costs for businesses and governments.
September 2, 2009 - On August 27, 2009, the administration presented to the Legislature a proposed addendum to the existing state employee labor agreement with Bargaining Unit 5 (California Highway Patrol [CHP] Officers). The proposal would amend the Public Employees’ Medical and Hospital Care Act and increase state budgetary costs in some future years. This letter provides our office’s analysis of the proposal, similar to the analysis we routinely provide the JLBC with proposed labor agreements.
March 6, 2009 - We review the administration's proposed labor agreements with SEIU Local 1000, the largest state employee union. The administration estimates that the state's net savings under the proposed agreements would be $337 million ($156 million General Fund) between now and June 2010--compared to costs negotiated in prior Local 1000 MOUs. We also discuss two alternate ways to view the costs of the proposed agreements--compared to costs under the Governor's previous two-day-per-month furlough plan and compared to costs included in the February budget package. The proposed agreements represent a cost increase for the state under both of these alternate methods.
June 13, 2008 - Item 7100-001-0869 of the 2008 Budget Conference Committee (page 374).
June 13, 2008 - Item 7350-001-0001 of the 2008 Budget Conference Committee (page 378).
June 13, 2008 - LAO compromise for Item 5180-101-000 of the 2008 Budget Conference Committee (page 295).
June 10, 2008 - LAO compromise for Item 1920 of the 2008 Budget Conference Committee (page 89).
April 22, 2008 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration
February 20, 2008 - About 14 percent of state employee positions are vacant. In this piece, we discuss the factors that cause high vacancy levels. We recommend repealing an ineffective state law that purports to abolish vacant positions. In its place, we offer the Legislature some options to hold departments accountable for high vacancy rates.
February 7, 2008 - The administration proposes a 5 percent raise for correctional officers and legislation to allow it to impose a labor settlement on the officers’ union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA). We find that the officers’ compensation levels are sufficient to allow the prisons to meet personnel needs at the present time, but we generally agree with other administration proposals to increase management control in prisons. We note that the dysfunctional relationship between the administration and CCPOA makes it more difficult to address the many issues facing the state’s prison and personnel management systems.
May 9, 2007 - The Legislature required the Controller to contract with actuaries for California's first valuation of unfunded state retiree health liabilities. On May 7, 2007, the Controller reported that the state's estimated unfunded liabilities total $48 billion. This report answers key questions concerning the valuation and identifies actions the Legislature could take to address the state's liabilities.
May 8, 2007 - Presented to Assembly and Senate Budget Committees
April 26, 2007 - Presented to the Public Employees Post-Employment Benefits Commission