Tag archive for California

CA: Public sector environmentalists vs. jobs

110624-farm-drought-hmed-245a.grid-6x2On Saturday I observed in the WSJ that private and public unions were increasingly in conflict this election season, particularly as left-leaning public union leaders align with members of the Democratic coalition like environmentalists, whose no-growth economic policies cost blue-collar workers jobs. One example I didn’t discuss in that piece is a campaign transpiring in California…

Watch door to bankruptcy slam shut to protect pensions

In the wake of Judge Klein’s ruling last week that Stockton could cut pension debt in bankruptcy, fiscal reformers and conservative commentators where quick to assume, somewhat naively, that this ruling changed everything and would force recalcitrant unions to the negotiating table. The truth, however, is that many states put up numerous roadblocks to municipal bankruptcy and the real import of the ruling was that states where public unions dominate were likely to throw up even more blocks. Now we’ve seen the first indication of this…

When reporters don’t bother reading budgets….

The Grey Lady had a story Monday on how Los Angeles can’t afford to invest in its crumbling infrastructure because of a continuing budget squeeze. The story starts off with an embarrassing mistake, confusing the LA County budget ($26 billion) for the city budget ($8.1 billion)–see correction at end of later editions. Then it contains not a single other budget number of consequence throughout, suggesting the reporter never bothered (or wasn’t capable of) reading the city’s budget. That’s one reason why the story only briefly mentions pensions but hangs the problem on a host of other issues including (wait for it) Californians’ aversion to higher taxes (yeah, really)…

Pensions: When you can’t trust the trustees

Last week the board of trustees of Calpers, dominated by six beneficiaries of the pension fund, voted to essentially undue some of Jerry Brown’s modest 2012 pension reforms with their liberal interpretation of the new rules. I have a piece in the LA Times today describing how this is not just a California problem. Many pension funds are directed by boards dominated by beneficiaries…

Scotus’ Illinois ruling may threaten SEIU California

After courts in California ruled that home health care workers in the state paid with Medicaid funds were no longer independent contractors but now public employees, SEIU began a long effort to organize them which culminated in the union in 1999 signing up 74,000 Los …

Griping about taxes is high where unions are strongest

Gallup has a new state poll out listing where residents gripe the most about taxes. The winners (if you can call them that) are largely not surprising, if you 480x480xno-taxes.gif.pagespeed.ic.FajJWeTt5lfollow policy debates these days. (Except for Nebraska. What are those folks so upset about?) Just for fun (if you can call it that) I took a look at how the list of those complaining the most about taxes correlated to the degree of government unionization in each state…

Tesla sees green future beyond California

camanufacturingCalifornia loves Tesla, the Los Angeles Times informs us, but the electric car company is ambivalent about the Golden State. In a blow to efforts to stem manufacturing job loss in California, the car company, based in Palo Alto, said it would definitely not build a new $5 billion “gigafactory” employing up to 6,500 workers in its home state. The decision comes at a time when investment in manufacturing jobs measured on a per capita basis…

California Teachers Association Pledges Millions for 2014 Initiative Campaigns

The “worst union in America” is preparing to spend at least $3 million on three initiatives angling for California’s November 2014 ballot. Mike Antonucci of the Education Intelligence Agency reports:
[The California Teachers Association] supports “The Nonprofit Donor Full Disclosure Act of 2014,” which would require “persons engaged …

State debts overshadow brightening revenue picture

20140124_100519_ssjm0127liability90The Wall Street Jr. has a story today about how improving tax collections are encouraging states to consider new spending or tax cuts. The story only nods briefly to the fact that states also have large debt problems to deal with (or ignore, as is sometimes the case). Contrast that with a sobering San Jose Mercury News story…,

Jerry Brown’s State of the State: Long-Term Liabilities ‘Enormous,’ ‘Growing’

California Governor Jerry Brown delivered his annual “state of the state” to a joint session of the legislature on Wednesday, the last in his third term as the state’s chief executive. Although Brown touted the state’s “comeback,” he acknowledged that California has some serious challenges:
And …