09/15/2019

News

Union schemes, scams and some pushback

As the Janus case (which ultimately would give public employees a choice whether or not to pay money to a union as a condition of employment) was headed to the Supreme Court, many unions saw the writing on the wall and cooked up “trap language” schemes. This chicanery only allows dissenting workers to quit a […]

Read More

California’s Nursing Schools Need to Up Enrollment by 60 percent to Avoid Shortage

As reported by ABC’s local Los Angeles affiliate, the main grievances of the nurses union were that LA County had violated a law requiring minimum nurse to patient ratios and failed to retain nurses. The inadequate staffing leading to these grievances might be attributed to a shortage of nurses, but apparently that is a controversial […]

Read More

The Financial Context of the Imminent California Supreme Court Decision on the “California Rule”

Any day now, the California Supreme Court will rule on what may be one of the most significant cases affecting pension reform in California history. The case, CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS, challenges one of the provisions of PEPRA(Public Employee Pension Reform Act) Governor Brown’s 2013 pension reform legislation. The plaintiffs argue that PEPRA’s abolition […]

Read More

California’s State and Local Liabilities Total $1.5 Trillion

We estimate that California’s total state and local government debt as of 6/30/2017 totaled just over $1.5 trillion. That total includes all outstanding bonds, loans, and other long-term liabilities, along with the officially reported unfunded liability for other post-employment benefits (primarily retiree healthcare), as well as unfunded pension liabilities. Our findings may appear to contradict […]

Read More

Stock Market, Housing, Economy Signal State and Local Budget Woes in 2019-20

The typical analysis of state and local government finances is that they are primarily a function of the economy. When the economy is growing well, and especially when it is growing faster than expected, local and state government finances prosper. When the economy grows, more people are employed and employees have larger paychecks. State income […]

Read More

State Audit Exposes High Speed Rail’s Epic Waste of Time and Money

Although the midterm election was held on November 6th, the news media was absorbed for several weeks with undecided close races and the strength of the “blue wave,” especially here in California. Perhaps that is why a report from the Auditor of the State of California on the High Speed Rail Project issued the following […]

Read More

California Local Government Websites – A 2018 Report Card

Among the 250 cities analyzed, ranging from Suisun City with just over 29,000 residents, to big Los Angeles, with over 4.0 million residents, only two got the top grade of A, Rancho Palos Verdes, located in Los Angeles County, and Poway, located in San Diego County. Grades of F, on the other hand, were handed […]

Read More

This November, Will California Voters Approve $3.6 Billion Per Year in New Taxes?

If you add up all the voter approved new taxes in November 2016, state and local, you have to include not only $5.0 billion in new local taxes and payments on local bonds per year, you also have to add the voter approved statewide measures. That would include Prop. 51, adding yet another $9.0 billion […]

Read More

Public Servant Who Made $327,491 in 2017 Asks Us to Support Higher Taxes

Every two years, around this time, political mailers inundate the mailboxes of California’s registered voters. This week, many Sacramento residents received “Vote No on Prop 6″ mailer. Prop 6 is that pesky, subversive citizens ballot initiative that, if approved by voters, will roll back the gas tax. But Prop. 6 isn’t the topic here. Rather, […]

Read More

California’s Government Unions Take Steps to Obliterate Janus Impact

Within days the U.S. Supreme Court is going to issue its ruling on the case Janus vs AFSCME. This case, if the ruling goes as expected, is going to overturn current law that requires public employees to pay union dues. Here in California, however, the real story is how laughable is the notion that this […]

Read More

California’s Transportation Future, Part One – The Fatally Flawed Centerpiece

California’s transportation future is bright. In every area of transportation innovation, California-based companies are leading the way. Consortiums of major global companies have offices throughout the San Francisco Bay area, pioneering self-driving cars that consolidate technologies from not just automakers, but cell phone manufacturers, chip designers, PC makers, telecoms, and software companies. In Southern California […]

Read More

Undisrupted education

The Golden State was one of seven with a 4-point increase in 8th grade reading, which enabled it to come within 3 points of the national average. But this joyful moment is dampened by the reality that even with the improved scores, 69 percent of California 4th graders are not proficient in English, compared to […]

Read More

Is your city using taxpayer dollars to campaign for higher taxes?

For two years beginning in 2014, Stanton, California, residents were pounded by half a million dollars in advertising calling for a hike in the city’s sales tax. They surrendered to the wall-to-wall messaging, voting once for the tax hike and then against a repeal effort. In a painful irony, the tsunami of advertising was paid […]

Read More

How to Restore Financial Sustainability to Public Pensions

The report from the League of California Cities includes a section entitled “What Cities Can Do Today.” This section merits a read between the lines: . . . 2 – “Consider local ballot measures to enhance revenues: Some cities have been successful in passing a measure to increase revenues. Others have been unsuccessful. Given that […]

Read More

Too many kids are failing in California, and so is the education establishment

High school graduation rates have traditionally been a barometer of student success, as well as a measure of the quality of school systems. The members of California’s education establishment have been high-fiving each other over the state’s on-time high school graduation rate reaching 83.2 percent in 2016. But a peak behind the curtain reveals some […]

Read More