Other Government Areas Publications

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MOU Fiscal Analysis: Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21 (SEIU Local 1000)

July 6, 2006 - We provide a fiscal analysis of the proposed MOU with the nine bargaining units represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000. We believe that the Department of Personnel Administration's (DPA) estimate of costs resulting from the MOU in 2006-07 is reasonable, but that the estimate for 2007-08 is likely too high by around $65 million due to a high estimate of inflation and not accounting for health care savings. We estimate that the total compensation costs (including benefits) for rank-and-file employees represented by SEIU would rise to over $5.5 billion in 2006-07 under the proposed MOU for a cost increase of almost 7 percent. In 2007-08, we estimate that costs would increase to $5.7 billion, or more than 3 percent above 2006-07.

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MOU Fiscal Analysis: Bargaining Unit 8 (Firefighters)

June 2, 2006 - We provide a fiscal analysis of the proposed MOU with Bargaining Unit 8, Firefighters. We believe that the Department of Personnel Administratrtion's (DPA) estimates of additional costs resulting from the MOU are too low. We estimate that net costs for the state will likely increase by at least $13 million in 2006-07 and $12 million in 2007-08 ($6 million more than indicated by DPA in each year).

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Retirement Contributions in 2006-07: New Policy Should Reduce Rate Volatility

February 23, 2006 - The retirement contribution rates set by CalPERS for the state and many local governments were volatile in the late 1990s and the early part of this decade. Governments had difficulty predicting annual contributions during their budgeting process. In 2005, CalPERS adopted a comprehensive rate stabilization policy. We believe the new policy promises more stability in contribution rates for the state and other public entities.

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Employee Compensation in 2006-07: Raises for Five of 21 Bargaining Units, Judges, and Others

February 23, 2006 - The budget includes $382million ($203 million General Fund) for compensation increases for: (1) memoranda of understanding with five of the 21 employee bargaining units, (2) supervisors and managers of employees in those five units, (3) judges, (4) prison medical personnel required to receive them by a court order in the Plata v. Schwarzenegger case, and (5) medical personnel in other departments.

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Retiree Health Care: A Growing Cost For Government

February 17, 2006 - The costs of providing health care to retired state employees and their dependents—now approaching $1 billion per year—are increasing significantly. Many other public employers (including the University of California, school districts, cities, and counties) face similar pressures. This report discusses health benefits provided to retired public employees, focusing on state retirees. We find that the current method of funding these benefits defers payment of these costs to future generations. Retiree health liabilities soon will be quantified under new accounting standards, but state government liabilities are likely in the range of $40 billion to $70 billion-and perhaps more. This report describes actions that the Legislature could take to address these costs.

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MOU Fiscal Analysis: Bargaining Unit 2 (Attorneys and Hearing Officers)—Revised

January 23, 2006 - We revise our December 14, 2005 summary of the fiscal effect of the MOU with Bargaining Unit 2, Attorneys and Hearing Officers, based on a side letter which changes the retirement provisions of the previous MOU. We estimate that current annual costs for salaries, salary-related costs, and health benefits for Unit 2 members total $396 million ($144 million General Fund). The proposed MOU would require 2005-06 expenditures of about $409 million (an increase of $13 million, or 3.3 percent). The MOU would require 2006-07 expenditures of about $436 million (an additional increase of $27 million, or 6.7 percent). The side letter reduces the amount of savings the MOU otherwise would have produced for the state. The magnitude of the foregone savings is unknown since it would have depended on future decisions of Unit 2 employees.

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Cost Shift to Teacher Retirement Costs Raises Short-Term and Long-Term Issues

February 24, 2005 - The Governor proposes shifting $469 million in General Fund teacher retirement costs to school districts and/or schools. Due to current law requirements, it is likely that the proposal would require a $469 million upward “rebenching” of Proposition 98’s minimum guarantee—nullifying the proposed General Fund savings. In addition, from a long-term perspective, the proposal on its own would not address the retirement system’s shortcomings—the lack of local control and responsibility.

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Addressing Public Pension Benefits and Cost Concerns

February 22, 2005 - California “defined benefit” pensions in the public sector raise certain benefits and cost issues. The Governor proposes shifting all new public sector employees to “defined contribution” plans to address the high cost of the current system. Defined contribution plans address concerns with defined benefit pensions, but also introduce issues of their own. The Legislature could also address the benefits and cost concerns of current retirement plans within the existing defined benefit structure or with other pension plan alternatives.

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Alternative Retirement Benefit Programs

February 18, 2004 - To reduce budget costs, the administration proposes to issue bonds to finance almost $1 billion in scheduled retirement contributions. A Superior Court has thus far prevented the state from issuing such bonds. Regardless of its legality, incurring decades worth of debt to avoid an annual operating expense is poor fiscal policy. We recommend the Legislature reject the administration’s proposal. The administration also proposes having current employees contribute more of their salaries to retirement. The idea is worth pursuing in collective bargaining, but the Legislature should be aware of what this provision might cost the state in return. For new employees, the administration proposes rolling back retirement benefits to those in place in 1999. We recommend that the Legislature also consider alternatives such as Tier 2 and defined contribution plans for all new employees. These alternatives would result in more state savings and benefits compared to the administration’s proposal.

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State Retirement Contributions

February 19, 2003 - To reduce budget costs, the administration proposes to finance up to $2.5 billion in scheduled retirement contributions to the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) and the State Teachers' Retirement System (STRS). We recommend rejecting this proposal because incurring decades worth of debt to avoid an annual operating expense is poor fiscal policy.

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State Retirement Contributions

February 20, 2002 - We recommend that the retirement proposals be rejected because they are very costly. These costs would total over $13 billion, be paid over many years, and tie up future state revenues. In present value terms, the proposal is equivalent to getting about $2 billion worth of fiscal flexibility at a cost of well over $4 billion.

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State Employee Compensation: The Recently Approved Package

December 6, 1999 - We estimate that the employee compensation package approved by the Legislature in September will cost $286 million in the current year, increasing to almost $1.3 billion in 2001-02. Enhanced retirement benefits will cost over $400 million per year beginning in 2001-02.

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Workforce Investment Act

February 16, 1999 - Workforce Investment Act

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(1) Status of Collective Bargaining Negotiations, and (2) Economic and Revenue Developments

October 20, 1998 - (1) Status of Collective Bargaining Negotiations, and (2) Economic and Revenue Developments

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Agricultural Labor Relations Board

February 19, 1997 - Agricultural Labor Relations Board

Other Government Areas Staff

Chas Alamo
(916) 319-8357
Personal Income Tax, Employment, and Labor Law
 
Ann Hollingshead
(916) 319-8305
State Budget and Federal Funding
 
Lourdes Morales
(916) 319-8320
Local Government
 
Jessica Peters
(916) 319-8363
Emergency Services and Business Regulation
 
Nick Schroeder
(916) 319-8314
Public Employment, CalPERS, and Elections
 
Brian Weatherford
(916) 319-8337
Corporation Tax and Insurance
 
Angela Short
(916) 319-8309
Teachers' Retirement Policy/ Child Welfare/ Community Care Licensing
 
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics