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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Edward Ring

Why is San Diego’s Pension Settlement Estimate So Much Money?

In 2012, San Diego voters approved Proposition B, a pension reform measure that replaced pensions for new hires with a 401K plan. Seven years later, it is possible this reform will be completely unwound, because union attorneys have successfully argued that the city didn’t “meet and confer” with the unions before putting the reform measure on the ballot for voter approval.

As reported two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the city’s argument that the San Diego’s mayor, who supported Prop. B, was exercising his right to free speech, and to force him to meet and confer with the unions prior to supporting Prop. B would have been a violation of that right.

Since then, the case has been returned to the original appellate court, which on 3/25 ruled that the city must “meet and confer over the effects of the initiative and to pay the… Read More

Edward Ring

San Diego’s 2012 Pension Reform at Risk

“The ruling is also an implicit endorsement of the state Public Employment Relations Board’s conclusion that the employees hired since the measure took effect must be made whole and get a pension equivalent to what they would have received pre-Proposition B.” Editorial, San Diego Union Tribune, March 18, 2019

The ruling in question is the California’s Supreme Court’s August 2018 decision which found that “San Diego’s six-year-old pension cutbacks were not legally placed on the ballot because city officials failed to negotiate with labor unions before pursuing the measure.” It’s in the news again this week because the U.S. Supreme Court has just announced they will not hear the City’s appeal of the California ruling.

What’s going to happen now is uncertain. Back in 2012, a super-majority of San Diego voters, 65 percent, approved pension… Read More

Edward Ring

California Rule Does Not Protect “Airtime”

Earlier this week the California Supreme Court ruled in the caseCalFire vs CalPERS. The case challenged one of the provisions of California’s 2014 pension reform legislation (PEPRA) which had eliminated the purchase of “Airtime.”

This was the practice whereby retiring public employees could purchase “service credits” that would lengthen the number of years they worked, which would increase the amount of their pensions, even though they hadn’t actually worked those additional years. While the amount these retirees would pay was always estimated to cover how much they’d eventually get back, with interest, in their pensions, in practice these estimates were always too low.

The plaintiffs in the case argued that airtime was protected by the “California Rule,” which, the argued, prevents pension benefits from being reduced unless some other benefit of equal value is offered in return. But… Read More

Katy Grimes

Judge Smacks Down CA Attorney General For “Misleading” Ballot Initiative Language

In a stunning court rebuke of the state Attorney General’s Office, a Sacramento Superior Court Judge announced Friday that Xavier Becerra’s title and summary for the Repeal of the Gas Tax initiative is “misleading and is likely to create prejudice against the measure”— and that he’d “do a rewrite himself” to make it clear the measure would repeal Jerry Brown‘s increases gas taxes and vehicle fees.Read More

Katy Grimes

Jerry Brown’s Crumbling Road Show and Legislative Circus

Democrats just passed the largest gas tax increase in California history. The deal is so bad they needed $1 Billion in payola to buy enough votes to pass it. And shamefully, only 60 percent of the gas tax collected from SB 1, authored by Democrat Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), will actually be used for road maintenance and repairs. Environmentalists got plenty of taxpayer-funded payola as well including money for more public transit, and for walking and bicycling projects.

SB 1 does nothing to relieve traffic congestion or expand highway lane capacity. If Democrats and Gov. Jerry Brown are trying to force… Read More

Edward Ring

A Modest Proposal for California from a Public Servant

When I see someone attacking the benefits the Fire Department receives or the Police Department receives, my concern is: Why wouldn’t you expect the same for yourself? We should act as a beacon.” – Mike Mohun, president of the San Ramon Firefighters Union, quoted in theNew York Times, March 2, 2017

There are many compelling reasons to examine this statement by Mr. Mohun, since pension benefits for state and local government workers are consuming ever increasing percentages of tax revenue. For starters, using the term “attack” is unfair. More accurate might be “counter-attack,” since the costs for these pensions are what has become extreme, not our reaction. If these pensions were financially sustainable, California’s citizens would not beunder attack by continuously escalating taxes, and continuously diminishing public services.

But why shouldn’t we expect the same for… Read More

Katy Grimes

Jerry Brown’s BIG Green Budget is in The Red

Even with “the most progressive tax system in the United states,” California Gov. Jerry Brown is facing huge deficits, and cannot balance the state budget. The huge $180billion state budget proposal for 2017-18, may be another record budget but for millions of Californians, it’s still record stagnation and less income.

Brown has presented yet another budget fairytale that will have $5.8 Billion in deficits over the next three years – even with the recently passed ballot tax of $10 Billion in new tax revenue. And the budget does little or nothing to pay down more than $240 billion in state debt.

Why? Because personal income tax, corporate, and sales tax projections are down.

“Why are… Read More

Katy Grimes

Memo To Big Media, NeverTrumpers and Leftists: This Is Why Trump Was Elected

By vilifying Conservatives as sexists, racists, and imbeciles, political, academic, media, and cultural elites — the self-appointed arbiters of acceptable public debate — opened the door to a Trump presidency. And they are in a state of shock.

Political Correctness is used by the left as a weapon to destroy the fabric of American society. However, the leftist attack on speech in America may have ground to a halt with the election of Donald J. Trump as President.

There’s nothing voluntary about political correctness.… Read More

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