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May 16, 2017 -
As part of his May Revision, the Governor proposes the state borrow $6 billion from the Pooled Money Investment Account (PMIA) to make a one-time payment to reduce state pension liabilities at CalPERS. The Governor proposes that the state and General Fund and special funds repay this loan with interest over a period of about eight years.
As we discuss in this brief, we think the plan would probably save the state money over the long run, although uncertainties remain about the likelihood and magnitude of this benefit. However, the administration is asking the Legislature to approve a large commitment of public resources with insufficient consideration. The administration has provided few of the legal or quantitative analyses that the Legislature should expect when receiving a request of this magnitude and complexity. Moreover, the administration has introduced this proposal as part of the May Revision—with only weeks before the constitutional deadline for the Legislature to approve the budget. We doubt all of the issues we raise in the brief can be reviewed by the June 15 deadline. However, there is no reason that the Legislature must make a decision before June 15. We recommend the Legislature wait to act on this plan until after the administration has submitted more analysis. At that point, the Legislature could decide whether or not to approve the proposal.
May 5, 2017 - The CalSTRS board recently acted to change assumptions used to estimate its unfunded liabilities, including the key assumption about future investment returns--sometimes referred to as the "discount rate." These and other recent developments have eroded CalSTRS' funding situation. This brief details these changes and describes how they will affect the state, school and community college districts, and teachers
March 14, 2017 - We reviewed the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the state and Bargaining Unit 16. This bargaining unit is represented by the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) and consists of state employed physicians, dentists, and podiatrists. This analysis fulfills our requirement under Section 19829.5 of the Government Code.
March 14, 2017 - This report examines the Savings Plus Program (the state's optional retirement savings plan for state employees). We find that, although anyone can benefit from saving money for their retirement, certain groups of state employees--those who work less than a full career, earn lower salaries, and are hired in the future and earn less generous retirement benefits as a result of recent policy changes--could significantly improve their financial security in retirement by saving more money on their own during their working career. In this report, we discuss our findings and options the Legislature can consider to improve employee participation. This report reflects policy changes established through labor agreements that require state employees to contribute a percentage of pay to prefund retiree health benefits and reduce retiree health benefits for future employees. Some of these agreements currently are pending legislative ratification.
March 3, 2017 - The Governor’s budget proposes several actions related to public works labor enforcement, including steps to address a structural funding problem the Governor has identified. In this analysis, we discuss our findings and recommendations relative to this proposed actions.
March 3, 2017 - The Governor’s budget proposes $11 million in special funds and 82.5 positions, phased in over three years, for the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to pursue additional investigations of labor standards violations. In this analysis, we provide our assessment of the Governor’s proposal and raise several concerns that we believe should be addressed before any funding and staffing are approved.
February 17, 2017 - At budget hearings on the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), we recommend that the budget committees hear from PERB and affected employer and employee groups to understand (1) why PERB is not processing cases in a timely manner and (2) what actions are necessary for the department to meet legislative policy priorities.
January 23, 2017 - We reviewed the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 8 (Firefighters). State Bargaining Unit 8’s current members are represented by Cal Fire Local 2881. This review is pursuant to Section 19829.5 of the Government Code.
January 10, 2017 - We reviewed the proposed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) between the state and 13 bargaining units (Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 11 through 15, and 17 through 21). These employees are represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000, the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Locals 3, 39, and 501 (both Craft and Maintenance workers and Stationary Engineers), the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians (CAPT), and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME, Local 2620). This review is pursuant to Section 19829.5 of the Government Code.
(Corrected 1/19/17: Changed parenthetical about retiree health benefits for SEIU Local 1000.)
(Corrected 1/17/17: Changed Figure 3 to reflect 2015-16 normal costs and pay. Added text to refer to figure.)
(Updated 1/13/17: Added paranthetical about retiree health benefits for SEIU Local 1000.)
(Corrected 1/11/17: Removed reference to PEPRA employees being required to pay one-half of normal cost under PEPRA.)
September 30, 2016 - Due to a variety of factors, the state's Unemployment Insurance (UI) trust fund exhausted its reserves in 2009, requiring the state to take on loans to continue the payment of benefits to unemployed workers. In this series of four online posts, we (1) examine the current condition of the UI trust fund and how it may change in the near future, (2) provide context on who pays UI taxes and how much they pay, (3) assess the extent to which the UI trust fund is prepared for the next economic downturn, and (4) look at potential steps the Legislature could take should it wish to increase reserves in the trust fund as a means to address the fiscal impacts of the next economic downturn.
Post 1 updated to reflect estimates in the 2017-18 May Revision.
Post 1 updated to reflect estimates in the 2017-18 Governor's Budget.
September 8, 2016 - Presented to: Career Technical Education Legislative Staff Working Group
August 29, 2016 - We reviewed the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 2 (Attorneys and Hearing Officers). State Bargaining Unit 2’s current members are represented by the California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges, and Hearing Officers in State Employment (CASE). This review is pursuant to Section 19829.5 of the Government Code.
June 24, 2016 - We reviewed the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 7 (Protective Services and Public Safety). Bargaining Unit 7 is represented by the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). This review is pursuant to Section 19829.5 of the Government Code.
June 10, 2016 - We reviewed the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 12 (Craft and Maintenance). Bargaining Unit 12 is represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Locals 3, 39, and 501. This review is pursuant to Section 19829.5 of the Government Code.
April 4, 2016 - We reviewed the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 6 (Corrections). Bargaining Unit 6 is represented by the California Correctional Peace Officers' Association (CCPOA). This review is pursuant to Section 19829.5 of the Government Code.