22 Years Ago Today

It was 22 years ago today that Senate Bill 400 granted a retroactive pension increase to CA state employees that amounted to the largest non-voter-approved issuance of debt in state history. One result has been a nearly 10-fold increase in pension contributions. Another has been a shift of tax revenues from programs to pensions. Unions … Continue reading 22 Years Ago Today

If You Thought The Recall Was Expensive . . .

In June the governor and legislature quietly granted an unwarranted $500 million per year salary increase to state prison guards using a loophole inserted into state code in 1981. Gov. Code Section 19826 deals with “Administration of Salaries,” which this fiscal year will amount to $20 billion. Subsection (c) of Section 19826 requires the state … Continue reading If You Thought The Recall Was Expensive . . .

When Good Legislators Do Bad Things

Sometimes good legislators do bad things. Eg, Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin, pressured by county employees in her district and as a favor to another legislator, recently carried a gut-and-amend bill that we stopped. But we will still support her. That's because generally she is supportive of the public interest when attending to the 29 legal … Continue reading When Good Legislators Do Bad Things

Bad Reporting By LA Times

So far in the 2021-22 election cycle, Govern For California’s statewide political committee has made political contributions to 81 Democrats, 11 Republicans and 1 Independent. During the 2019-20 election cycle, the committee made political contributions to 79 Democrats, 18 Republicans and 1 Independent. Yet in an LA Times article yesterday about tech industry political contributors, … Continue reading Bad Reporting By LA Times

Recall Election

A number of you have written seeking advice about the recall election. We don't have any to give. Our focus is the legislature and we must work with whoever sits in the governor's office. If it's helpful, below is a piece I recently published about the subject. https://www.city-journal.org/california-recall-wont-fix-its-governance-problems A Recall Alone Won’t Fix Golden-State Governance … Continue reading Recall Election

Back To School

School employee unions in California weren't always powerful. That started to change in 1975 when they were extended collective bargaining rights but that alone didn't confer their dominance. The other ingredient was the failure of good government organizations to persistently resist their demands. Nearly six million California kids heading back to K-12 schools this week suffer the consequences. Treated more like captives … Continue reading Back To School


Everyone knows 1968 shook the national political landscape but few know that was also the year the California Legislature and Governor Ronald Reagan quietly rolled California's political environment — and not for the better. That's they year they enacted the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act that endowed local and county personnel with the power to bargain collectively with the governments that … Continue reading 1968