Tag archive for San Jose

Sparse ballot year for pension reform initiatives

This is a busy campaign season, given congressional mid-term elections and 36 governor races. State ballots are also full of direct democracy votes, a total of 148 initiatives of one sort or another according to Ballotpedia. But distinctly missing from ballots at the state level are any pension or government labor reform measures…

Watch as pensions, health care, debt gobble up NJ taxes

The fiscal future of states and cities that have neglected their pension systems and bolstered their budgets with debt gimmicks is on view in New Jersey, crowd out njwhere Gov. Chris Christie announced yesterday that rising pension, health care and debt service costs will eat up 94 percent of the increase in tax collections the state is projecting. At the same time the Washington Post reminds us what a city in the same predicament, San Jose, looks like as it cuts services and raises taxes thanks to its pension liabilities…

The Trials of Chuck Reed

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has had a tough go of it since unveiling his “Pension Reform Act of 2014” in October. Reed wants to allow state and local governments to adjust pension benefits on a going forward basis, instead of only being able to make …

Cheaper pensions: How the math works for employees

In my Wall St. Journal piece this weekend I discussed how the IRS is holding up municipalities’ efforts to move workers into new, less expensive pension systems, even when employees via their union agree they’d like to make the move. I spent most of the piece on the IRS issues, but it’s worth exploring why places like San Jose and Orange County think that some workers might voluntarily agree to take less in pensions promises. Let’s look at some math…

Pension reform has become a legal issue, but maybe not for much longer

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s move to place pension reform—authentic pension reform—on the 2014 California ballot will ensure that the issue will become, if anything, even larger next year than it is now.
Public interest remains high, judging by how much news coverage public pensions continue …

Were San Jose workers really ‘victims’ of their politicians?

Monday’s New York Times piece on San Jose’s efforts to sustain the pension reforms voted by city residents contains a few lines that carry forward a theme emerging in other articles about severely underfunded pensions, namely that the employees were just victims of politicians who promised them …

Wealthy Sonoma faces similar problems to Stockton

Defenders of the state’s fiscal status quo routinely argue that bankruptcy and deep fiscal problems are not a statewide threat — that they only are a problem in poorer, terribly managed cities such as Stockton, Vallejo, San Bernardino and the like. That ignores the major …

Fiscal ties that bind cities

The continuing budget crisis in states and cities has prompted some notable reform efforts, including pension and health benefit cuts that begin to address long-term problems. But one expensive mandate that’s gone almost completely unchallenged has been binding arbitration, the process by which unelected arbitrators …

Charter cities could lead the way to reform

The future health of California cities will not be affected by the veneer of pension reform the governor signed into law. The real issue centers on San Jose’s Measure B, which reduces future benefits for current public employees. San Jose touched pensions for current employees because, officials there explain, as a charter city it is allowed to do so and the city’s charter specifically sanctions pension reforms. In fact, charter cities have much latitude in how they reform public services

Current public employees in California: can their pension benefits be changed?

Yes.
Much of the debate over California pension reform centers around whether or not the pension benefits of current employees can and/or should be restructured. The legislation that looks likely to pass soon would mostly leave current employees’ benefits untouched, making it weaker than Gov. Jerry Brown’s original proposal, as well as recent pensions reforms in San Diego and San Jose.