Posts Tagged: annual

Opinion

CalPERS has vital role in state’s economic recovery

The headquarters of the California Public Employees' Retirement System in Sacramento. (Photo: Kit Leong, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Those who think about CalPERS often limit their perspective to the context of pensions for public employees. But the reality is that every single person who wants to be able to get a job in a community with affordable housing, good schools, safe streets, and accessible public services needs CalPERS to be successful. Otherwise, we will all pay a steep price.

News

Gas tax fuels 2018 political fight

Traffic on the 405 in Los Angeles, the nation's busiest freeway. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

California’s new gas tax hike to fund billions of dollars worth of overdue road repairs has only been in effect for a little over a month but Republicans are already trying to overturn it. On Nov. 1, Senate Bill 1, signed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in the spring after a fierce political battle, increased the excise tax on gas by 12 cents a gallon and the excise tax on diesel fuel by 20 cents a gallon.

News

State pension systems: NY outperforms California

The CalPERS board of governors during a meeting at the pension system's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS)

New York state pension systems are better funded than California state pension systems, currently take a smaller bite out of state and local government budgets, and still provide pension benefits well above the national average. How do they do it?

News

State auditor hits UC for secret fund, excessive salaries

UC Berkeley students at Sather Gate. (Photo: Rightdx, via Shutterstock)

Our audit of the University of California Office of the President’s budget and staffing processes revealed the following: The Office of the President did not disclose to the University of California Board of Regents, the Legislature, and the public $175 million in budget reserve funds. It spent significantly less than it budgeted for and asked for increases based on its previous years’ over‑estimated budgets rather than its actual expenditures.

News

UC: Locals vs. the out-of-staters

UC students on the Berkeley campus during a spring open house known as Cal Day. (Photo: cdrin, via Shutterstock)

It’s a common story. California high school graduates with top grades and scores still aren’t able to get into the University of California campus of their choice. Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, says he hears that complaint from constituents “all the time – at Trader Joe’s, at soccer fields and walking down the street.”

News

Public pension funds eye weak investment returns

CalPERS' governing board during a 2013 meeting. (Photo: CalPERS board)

Calpensions: The state’s two largest public pension systems never recovered from huge investment losses during the deep recession and stock market crash in 2008. CalPERS lost about $100 billion and CalSTRS about $68 billion. Now after a lengthy bull market, most experts are predicting a decade of weak investment returns, well below the annual average.

News

CA pensions’ tax bite exceeds national average

The CalPERS' governing board during a meeting several years ago at the pension fund's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS board)

California pension funds take a bigger share of tax revenue than the national state average, a research website shows. Why the growing costs are outpacing the norm is not completely clear. A prime suspect for some would be overly generous pensions, particularly what critics say is an “unsustainable” increase for police and firefighters widely adopted to match a big increase given the Highway Patrol by SB 400 in 1999.

Opinion

Targeting the schools’ ‘reserve cap’

School kids at work in a California classroom. (Photo: Monkey Business Images)

OPINION: California voters passed Proposition 2 last November to establish a statewide “rainy day” fund. Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all law, SB 858, also passed last year as part of the state budget process. SB 858 prevents school districts from saving adequately to prepare for their own rainy day by setting a maximum average “reserve cap” of 6 percent on school districts reserves.

News

Property taxes: The magic bullet for budget stability?

A graph showing the volatility of income tax revenue (solid line). Prperty tax revenue is in blue.(Graphic: LAO)

Could making our state budget more dependent on property tax revenues be the key to eliminating the roller-coaster budgets of the last two decades? Since the early 1990s, we’ve lived through the boom and bust cycles of the California budget. Today, we are more dependent than ever on personal income taxes. And those taxes are more progressive than they have been in years, meaning our economic stability is tied to the fate of the wealthy .

News

Calpers: Average service, high costs

Calpensions: A new comparison with four other large public pension funds found that CalPERS, while scoring average on service, had high pension administration costs — $213 per member a year, nearly twice the average of $108 per member.

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