Archive for February 3rd, 2012

8.3% ?

 

Friday, February 3, 2012 – 09:00 a.m.

Hooray! The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.3% in January, with the economy adding 243,000 jobs.

But it took a lot of gaming of the numbers to get there.

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/02/2012 04:25:33 PM PST

Document: Ballot Title and Summary

San Bernardino City Professional Firefighters Local 891, the union representing 126 city firefighters, has introduced a ballot initiative proposing an elected fire chief.

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By Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 02/02/2012 05:36:15 PM PST

Fundraising data for Rep. David Dreier, D-San Dimas, from the last quarter of last year suggests he’s likely to retire this year, according to local political experts.

The Federal Election Commission database reports Dreier collected only $10,160 in campaign contributions in the period from October to December. The figure is paltry compared with the $207,450 received in the same period in 2003, and the $137,600 in 2009.

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By Wendy Leung, Staff Writer
Created: 02/02/2012 06:07:28 PM PST

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – There has been a change in leadership for the affordable housing group National Community Renaissance, or National CORE.

The nonprofit has hired Steve PonTell, founder of the think tank La Jolla Institute, as interim president and chief executive officer, replacing Orlando Cabrera.

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VVDailyPress: PG&E, water board sign $3.6M settlement

$1.8M goes to Hinkley School water system
February 02, 2012 5:11 PM
KATIE LUCIA, Staff Writer

HINKLEY • The regional water board signed a $3.6 million agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric on Wednesday night, dedicating half of that money to build a new water filtration system at the Hinkley School.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Many years of partisan wrangling over the state budget reached a climax in 2010 when public employee unions and Democratic politicians persuaded voters to pass Proposition 25, eliminating the two-thirds vote for budgets.

It gave the Legislature’s majority Democrats the power to pass budgets without having to garner Republican votes. But that’s not all it did.

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SacBee: CalSTRS’ gap rises as return forecast falls

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

By lowering its investment forecast by another quarter point, CalSTRS made a bow toward economic reality – but also may have complicated efforts to shore up its finances.

The teachers’ retirement board agreed Thursday to reduce CalSTRS’ official investment forecast to 7.5 percent, down from 7.75 percent. It was the second cut in 14 months, after the $144 billion fund left the forecast untouched for 15 years.

In a volatile investment climate, following a year in which CalSTRS’ portfolio earned just 2.3 percent, board members took their consultants’ advice and went with the lower number.

“I think it’s best that we be conservative,” said Terry McGuire, representing board member and state Controller John Chiang.

The board of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System voted 9-1 to reduce the forecast. The lone dissent came from Pedro Reyes of the Department of Finance. The higher forecast “is not unreasonable,” he argued. “Let’s stay where we are right now, (and) visit this in another year.”

By cutting investment projections, the board instantly ballooned CalSTRS’ funding gap – the estimated shortfall of assets available to meet the pension fund’s long-term needs. The gap will grow by nearly $6 billion, or roughly 10 percent.

That could create problems in the Legislature, which must OK changes in how CalSTRS is funded.

CalSTRS gets around $5.6 billion a year from the state, school districts and teachers. The pension fund had already calculated that it needed another $4 billion a year to eventually get healthy. With the lower investment forecast, those needs grow by another $500 million a year.

While CalSTRS is pushing for more money, many Republicans want to erase funding shortfalls for public pensions by reducing benefits. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown wants to give newly hired employees a combination traditional pension and a 401(k)-style program.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/03/4235828/calstrs-gap-rises-as-return-forecast.html#mi_rss=Business#storylink=cpy

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
February 2, 2012

A “millionaires tax” initiative spearheaded by the California Federation of Teachers and the Courage Campaign received petition language today, as well as backing from the powerful California Nurses Association.

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By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Gov. Jerry Brown laid out a detailed plan to alter California’s state and local public retirement systems on Thursday – and immediately drew fire from his core labor constituency.

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