CalPERS eyes long-term rate hike

CalPERS' governing board during a meeting. (Photo: CalPERS board)

CalPERS is considering small increases in employer and employee rates over decades to reduce the risk of big investment losses, a policy that also would lower an earnings forecast critics say is too optimistic. The proposal is a response to the “maturing” of a CalPERS system that soon will have more retirees than active workers. From two active workers for each retiree in 2002, the ratio fell to 1.45 to one by 2012 and is expected to be 0.8 to 0.6 to one in the next decades.

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Opinions

Mental illness: Treating patients as individuals

Close to 1.2 million adults in California live with serious mental illnesses. Each one of these cases is an individual—a parent or sibling or child—and no two people battling the same condition respond to the same treatment alike. Treating mental conditions—and in fact, treating all illnesses—has to be based on the fact that every person is unique and each patient requires therapies that suit him or her best.

News

Lawyers’ view: Comparing Sacramento and D.C.

State Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: Wikipedia)

California state government does not operate in a vacuum. Federal laws, programs and funding decisions are implemented by the state and have a huge effect on the state and its local communities. In addition, the state does not have exclusive control of the policy-making agenda. The federal government and California’s local governments are constantly considering and adopting policies that are of concern to those working with—or in connection with—state government.

News

Vanishing breed: SoCal’s statewide contenders

The Los Angeles skyline late at night. (Photo: Songquang Deng, via Shutterstock)

Where are the Southern Californians? We are at the beginning of the run-up to the 2016 political season; candidates and potential candidates for statewide office are beginning to make their presence known. But where are the candidates from the land of palm trees and Valley Girls? An outside observer could be forgiven for thinking Northern Californians are taking over the state’s politics, given the outsized disparity between Southern California’s population and its candidate offerings.

Opinions

Making kids a top budget priority

Elementary school students in a California classroom. ((Photo: Monkey Business Images)

A new analysis of the state budget from the nonpartisan Legislative Analysts Office identifies about $1.1 billion in new money available in the budget for discretionary spending. Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have an opportunity to make spending decisions that will prioritize children, many of whom took the brunt of budget cuts over the last decade.

Letters

On the 7th Senate District race

Editor: Democrat Steve Glazer will be sworn in today to the state Senate from the 7th District. Since Steve’s election victory by over 11,500 votes on May 19, I have read comments in news articles that if this was a closed Democratic pimary, Steve would not have won or if it was a regular special, Steve would not have won, and a lot of ifs.

Opinions

Time has come to fix Denti-Cal

A youngster on his visit to the dentist. (Photo: Wavebreakmedia, via Shutterstock)

What if I told you there was a straightforward way to raise kids’ grades, increase funding for schools and cut costly emergency room visits? You’d probably tell me to get my head checked by a doctor. And I’d tell you to see a dentist.

News

Speaker halts spending from Assembly operating fund

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins plans to stop steering millions of dollars toward favored causes using her chamber’s operating fund. The announcement comes a day after The Associated Press reported that Atkins and her two predecessors redirected $115 million to programs of their choosing between 2008 and 2014 with little oversight. Last year Atkins steered money to programs to help veterans, the elderly and schoolchildren.

News

From the classroom: Looking at the offices of governor, president

At first glance, comparing the roles of the President and the California Governor with regard to the lawmaking processes of their respective governments appears to be an esoteric exercise for ivory tower academics. Our students often ask, “Why is it important that I be able to compare the respective powers and prerogatives of the President and the Governor? Is it not enough for me to know what the President can do in the federal system, and what the Governor can do in the California system?”

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