Die Another Day: Bonds like Prop 13 are a burden for tomorrow

By Chris Reed
The conventional wisdom about Proposition 13 — the only ballot measure before California voters in the March 3 election — is that the $15 billion construction bond benefitting public schools, state universities and community colleges is of relatively little importance to the average voter. While there are concerns that local districts will have to raise...

TAGS: bonds, California State Teachers Retirement System, Chris Reed, Los Angeles Unified School District, school boards

Taxing Californians’ patience

By Larry Sand
The new Prop. 13, very much unlike the iconic original, hurts taxpayers. There is yet another potential tax grab coming to California in the form of a school bond, which will be on the March 3rd ballot. The ironically named Prop. 13, a “School and College Facilities Bond,” would authorize $15 billion in general obligation...

TAGS: California State Teachers Retirement System, Dan Walters, Jon Coupal, Katy Grimes, Larry Sand, Measure EE, Prop. 13, Richard Rider, Transparent California

California Pensions Take Above-Average Tax Bite

By Ed Mendel
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...

TAGS: California Public Employees Retirement System, California State Teachers Retirement System, CalPERS, CalSTRS

CalSTRS CEO Jack Ehnes Recommends 50% Increase to CalSTRS Retirement Income

By Edward Ring
Author’s Note: The original title of this post was “CalSTRS CEO Jack Ehnes Recommends 50% Increase to CalSTRS Pension Benefits.” That was inaccurate. What Ehne’s specifically recommended per the quote immediately below this note was “income replacement of 80 percent to 90 percent to maintain a similar lifestyle in retirement,” in reference to his assertion that...

TAGS: California State Teachers Retirement System, CalSTRS

How Much Do CalSTRS Retirees Really Make?

By Robert Fellner
Summary:  The California State Teacher’s Retirement System (CalSTRS) is California’s 2nd largest public employee pension fund, serving roughly 2% of California’s population. At present, its unfunded liability is officially estimated at $71 billion. While much of the discussion over pension reform focuses on projected rates of investment returns, which greatly affects the required annual contributions...

TAGS: California State Teachers Retirement System, CalSTRS

Public Sector Pension Plans Do Not Pass the "Smell Test"

By Edward Ring
“Pew’s relationship with the Arnold Foundation does not pass the smell test,” said Meredith Williams, Denver-based executive director of the National Council on Teacher Retirement. –  “Pension Funds Press Pew to Cut Arnold Foundation,” Philanthropy Today, March 4, 2014 If you’re looking for an example of how, increasingly, political debate in America is framed as...

TAGS: California State Teachers Retirement System, CalSTRS, CalSTRS unfunded liability, GASB

Are Annual Contributions Into CalSTRS Adequate?

By Edward Ring
Preface: Earlier this year the California Policy Center published a study evaluating the Orange County Employee Retirement System (OCERS) to explore this same question: Are Annual Contributions into OCERS Adequate? That study adopted a unique focus, evaluating contributions into OCERS not based on percent of payroll, but by looking at the actual amount of cash being contributed...

TAGS: California State Teachers Retirement System, CalSTRS, CalSTRS unfunded liability

California’s Liberals Will Get All the Government They Want

By Mike Shedlock
On Tuesday voters in California went the wrong way on three propositions. Voters approved Proposition 30 “temporarily” increasing the state sales tax and income tax on individuals making over $250,000. They voted against Proposition 31 that would allow the governor to cut the budget in fiscal emergencies. They voted against Proposition 32 that would prevent...

TAGS: California State Teachers Retirement System