CalPERS: Retirees soon will outnumber active members

Calpensions: In a few years CalPERS retirees are expected to outnumber active workers, a national trend among public pension funds that makes them more vulnerable to big employer rate increases. The growing number of retirees, partly due to aging baby boomers, is one reason a staff report last week argues that CalPERS has too much “risk.”

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Opinions

Prop. 45: A foe drew personal attacks

OPINION: As a surgeon, I weigh in on political issues whenever they impact me and my patients, and when I think I can shed additional light on the matter. That was the case this year when I became a vocal opponent of Proposition 45, which would have given the state’s Insurance Commissioner unprecedented new powers over health care decisions.

News

Showdown looms over tuition hike

The UC Board of Regents’ decision to increase tuition over the next five years brought a swift – and negative – reaction from Sacramento, signaling a fiscal showdown when the state budget is unveiled in January. “To UC students and their families, please know that the fight over this nearly 28% fee increase is not over,” said Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

News

Fiscal outlook brighter — but fingers crossed

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, the Legislature's nonpartisan fiscal adviser, unveils the latest budget projections. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli

California, long bedeviled by daunting budget deficits, is likely to end the next fiscal year with $4.2 billion in reserve, with half that amount due to a budget-reform measure that voters approved on Nov. 4, according to the Legislature’s nonpartisan financial adviser.

Opinions

With voters, candidates’ experience is crucial

Voters in Ventura County cast ballots. (Photo: Spirit of America, Shutterstock)

OPINION: Inside the I-80 Beltway, aka Sacramento, there is no shortage of political writers and pundits, pollsters, candidates and campaign consultants that try to “explain” election results. They draw sweeping conclusions after analyzing turnout, cross-tabs from as many polls as possible, candidates’ mail and messaging, and all the money spent on behalf of, or against candidates by “independent expenditure committees”

News

CCPOA’s clout high, but profile low

An officer of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association at memorial services for fallen colleagues. (Photo: CCPOA)

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association was once one of the most visible – and powerful – political forces in Sacramento. It thrived with the state’s vast prison expansion and it muscled concessions from Democratic and Republican governors alike. But the CCPOA now is in transition. The 28,500-member union still has the power – but it keeps a far lower profile.

News

Watchdog: Violations found in ballot props before election day

Before the Nov. 4 general election, California’s political watchdog examined “every advertisement relating to state and local ballot measures” – a total of 172 state and local propositions – and ordered corrections in 19 of them, mostly for failing to make it clear who was financing the ads.

News

Patty Lopez: The upstart defined

Patty Lopez, a contender in the close-run 39th Assembly District trace, came from obscurity to prominence. (Photo: Lopez staff)

Patty Lopez is more comfortable speaking Spanish, but she’s not afraid to be a voice for her community. That’s why she decided to compete against a well-known, well-connected incumbent for a San Fernando Valley Assembly seat. Nearly two weeks after Election Day, Lopez and incumbent Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, are locked in a race that’s too close to call in the 39th District.

Opinions

Plastic bag ban under well-funded attack

Plastic bags and other debris at a landfill await the bulldozer. (Photo: Huguette Roe)

OPINION: You might already have noticed petition gatherers buzzing around Target and other stores, asking for your signature to undo the historic statewide plastic bag ban signed into law just weeks ago by California Gov. Jerry Brown. I urge you not to sign them. Out-of-state interlopers are pouring millions of dollars into the effort to undo what the Governor and Legislature have just accomplished to reduce the plastic bags littering our neighborhoods.

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