Surplus masks deep fiscal problems, especially in school districts

By Steven Greenhut
Sacramento As Gov. Jerry Brown heads into the sunset, he leaves California’s general-fund budget in remarkably sound shape, according to an analysis last month from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. “It is difficult to overstate how good the budget’s condition is today,” the LAO reported, pointing to a $14.5 billion reserve by the end of next...

TAGS: Jerry Brown, Pension liabilities

California’s soaring poverty rates tied to its fiscal irresponsibility

By Steven Greenhut
Sacramento The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest statistics, released this month, find that California’s poverty rate remains the highest in the nation, despite dipping ever so slightly. The reason is no surprise: It’s tied largely to the state’s unusually high cost of living. Yet despite Democratic lawmakers’ oft-stated concern about rising income inequality, they spent the...

TAGS: Pension liabilities, poverty, U.S. Census Bureau

Expect unions to use good returns to deflect attention from growing problem

By Steven Greenhut
Sacramento California’s fiscal watchdogs are bracing for the forthcoming press statements from the nation’s largest state-run pension fund, and from the public-sector unions that depend on the system to pay their members’ generous retirement packages. Expect something to this effect: “The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s investment earnings for the fiscal year ending June 30...

TAGS: CalPERS, Pension liabilities