Undemocratic Nondisclosure In California

From January through June last year, the California Legislature held hearings about a proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year that allocated the majority of $300 billion of spending to healthcare corporations and government employees who — during that very same period — made political donations to lawmakers that weren't disclosed until July 31, a … Continue reading Undemocratic Nondisclosure In California

Corporate Donors To California Lawmakers

This year California will devote more than $120 billion to Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid that serves more than one of every three residents. That means big profits for Managed Care Organizations such as Anthem, Molina and Centene. We have nothing against profits but a lot against conflicts of interest. Under California law, Medicaid … Continue reading Corporate Donors To California Lawmakers

Towards Universal Coverage In California

Dear Legislators, We are pleased that 94% of Californians now have health coverage. We’d love to see that figure rise to 100%. Multi-payer universal coverage systems such as those that dominate continental Europe and towards which California is marching can work extremely well. But one big difference is that European systems do a better job … Continue reading Towards Universal Coverage In California

Fixing California’s Unemployment Problem

Dear Legislators, California's unemployment rate (7.5 percent) is the second highest in the nation and 44 percent higher than the national rate (5.2 percent). Yet its Gross Domestic Product is growing faster than national GDP. That's because states like California with an abundance of technology enterprises can generate lots of GDP growth but not necessarily … Continue reading Fixing California’s Unemployment Problem

CA Donation Conflicts Must End

Under SEC rules, investment advisors who do work for state and local pension funds can be disqualified if they make political contributions at certain levels to elected officials or candidates for those offices who have a say in the public pension decisions to contract with investment advisors. That's a good thing because public pension funds … Continue reading CA Donation Conflicts Must End

Code Repair In California

CA Gov. Code Section 19826 deals with “Administration of Salaries” amounting to $20 billion per year: Subsection (c) of Section 19826 requires the state to produce a study of salaries of employees in comparable occupations in private industry and other governmental agencies at least six months before the end of a contract with a bargaining … Continue reading Code Repair In California

In Ventura’s Own Words

Dear Legislators,If ever there was a bill that was inappropriate for rushed deliberation on a gut-and-amend basis but perfectly appropriate for un-rushed deliberation, it is AB 826. But don't take our word for it — Ventura itself makes that case.Effective January 1, 2013, the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) limited the types of compensation … Continue reading In Ventura’s Own Words

POBs = Wall Street Snake Oil

Dear Elected Officials,We keep hearing about cities considering a Wall Street proposal to issue debt to fund supplemental pension contributions to city pension funds. They should not do so.When cities make pension promises, they and the employees to whom the promises are made are supposed to contribute enough money to pension funds so that, with … Continue reading POBs = Wall Street Snake Oil