California Schools Facing $24B in Retiree Health Costs

California schools are on the hook for $24 billion in future health care costs for their retirees, a mountain of debt that’s forcing some districts to curb benefits or spend less on teacher salaries and classroom equipment, according to a new state report. Los Angeles Unified School District boasts a whopping 56 percent share — or $13.5 billion — of the unfunded liability, although it educates nine percent of California’s public school population. It’s historically provided some of the most generous retiree health benefits, including lifetime coverage for retirees and their spouses. Teachers’ union representatives argued good health care is an essential tool for recruiting and retaining teachers. But the looming debt means newer teachers are offered skimpier benefits and less money is available to spend in classrooms.

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Republicans Propose Review of Occupational Licenses

A new council would be created to review the necessity of every occupational licensing requirement in Wisconsin under a bill being circulated for co-sponsors.

The measure unveiled Wednesday would require the submission of a report by the end of 2018 that recommends elimination of licenses and other changes rules and requirements. The Legislature in 2019 would then consider approving the recommendations.

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These States Use the Most Renewable Energy

Oregon takes the No. 1 spot when it comes to renewable energy use, and also for the overall Best States for energy rnaking. Nearly 80 percent of the state’s renewable energy comes from hydropower, according to the National Hydropower Association.

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California’s Foreclosure Drop – Too Good To Be True?

As an epicenter of the nation’s worst housing bust in recent history, California remains an important bellwether for the housing market recovery. So when news that foreclosure starts in the beleaguered state plummeted to an 87-month low in January, industry watchers took notice.

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