Archive for the ‘ Budget ’ Category

Riverside County Seal

‘Steely discipline’ is called for as officials try to rein in costs and build up savings.

By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: June 29, 2016 – Updated: 6:41 p.m.

With expenses outpacing income, departments starved for money and savings dipping to uncomfortable levels, Riverside County officials want to put county government on a strict diet.

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SBCO

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

San Bernardino County is set to approve a $203 million payment to its pension fund on Tuesday.

Surprisingly it’s an amount that’s lower than last year.

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Daily Bulletin: Upland proposes hiring freeze to balance budget

Upland seal

By Liset Márquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 06/25/16 – 3:07 PM PDT |

UPLAND >> When the City Council gets its first glimpse of the proposed $46.1 million budget Monday night, it will include some maneuvers that indicate the city continues to live in very lean times.

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hesperia_logo

By Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted Jun. 26, 2016 at 10:09 AM

HESPERIA — The City Council recently approved its “balanced budget” as it moves into the beginning of its fiscal year on Friday.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 23, 2016 – 4:24 PM

  • Gov. Brown wants to raise taxes for more repairs
  • However, public is opposed to paying more at pump
  • Republicans demanding CEQA reforms

California’s highways are in bad shape and getting worse every day, with a backlog of deferred maintenance totaling tens of billions of dollars.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: Public employees’ pay packages questioned

Money

Joe Nelson, The Sun
Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Stephen Wall, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 06/21/16 – 10:09 PM PDT |

Inland public employees aren’t just earning a paycheck, but collecting hefty compensation packages that often dwarf their base salaries, an open-records advocacy group announced Tuesday.

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Greg Devereaux

In 2015, San Bernardino County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux’s total compensation was $549,803, up about $60,000 from the previous year, according to website Transparent California.

By Stephen Wall, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 06/21/16 – 8:21 AM PDT |

Inland public employees aren’t just earning a paycheck, but collecting hefty compensation packages that often dwarf their base salaries, an open-records advocacy group announced Tuesday, June 21.

Read the rest of this entry »

Riverside County Seal

Both made the case for public safety spending as supervisors stress need for savings.

By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: June 20, 2016
Updated:   June 21, 2016 – 6:59 a.m.

In recent years, Riverside County supervisors have given the sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices extra money on top of the millions they get to protect the public, even as other departments went without new county funding.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 06/20/16 – 10:14 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The City Council on Monday saw a budget for the 12 months that begin July 1 that anticipates aggressively filling some of the 130 vacancies in the city while maintaining a small surplus.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 20, 2016 – 4:12 PM

  • May’s auction realized just 2 percent of expected revenue
  • Analysts believe conditions bode ill for future offerings
  • Auction meltdown has placed hold on billions in spending

When California’s “cap-and-trade” auction of carbon emission allowances imploded a month ago, it clobbered ambitious plans by Capitol politicians to spend many billions of dollars.

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The Sun: San Bernardino headed toward unexpected budget surplus

San Bernardino City Hall

San Bernardino City Hall. (File photo)

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 06/19/16 – 10:25 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The bankrupt city spent less money and brought in more than it had expected in the fiscal year that ends June 30, according to budget documents the City Council will review Monday.

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InlandPolitics: Inland Empire governments renewed financial worries

Budget Woes

Sunday, June 19, 2016 – 12:00 a.m.

The economy is supposed to be doing just fine. Property taxes have all but fully recovered along with real estate prices.

But Inland Empire governments are expressing caution when discussing their finances.

Read the rest of this entry »

Money Squeeze

By Cassie MacDuff, The Press-Enterprise
and Cassie MacDuff, San Bernardino County Sun
Posted: 06/18/16 – 6:56 PM PDT |

Calimesa is just the latest city to hit the wall with Riverside County’s demands for more spending on public safety contracts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Riverside County Seal

Despite big funding shortfall, no employee layoffs or furloughs are planned.

By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: June 17, 2016 Updated: June 18, 2016 6:27 a.m.

Riverside County’s budget plan calls for using reserve funds to close a $60.9 million shortfall, but no layoffs or furloughs are planned, according to a report from the county executive office.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
June 16, 2016 – 3:51 PM

  • Budget total remained same, despite new spending
  • Shift to bonds for jails lubricated negotiations
  • Borrowing undercuts Brown’s stance on debt

The state budget that’s sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk – $122 billion in general fund spending – is almost exactly the dimensions of what he had proposed in January and revised slightly in May.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Pension fund resorts to 30 year performance measure

SBCO

Thursday, June 16, 2016 – 12:00 p.m.

You know things are getting tough when a pension fund starts mentioning its 30-year average average return in its investment reports.

Read the rest of this entry »

SBCO

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 06/15/16, 5:56 PM PDT |

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved a $5.4 billion proposed budget and more than $12 million will be allocated for security enhancements following the Dec. 2 terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center.

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Daily Press: Victorville adopts balanced $183.7M budget

Victorville

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Posted:    June 15, 2016 at 4:05 PM
Updated: June 15, 2016 at 5:49 PM

  • Projected $56.1M general fund revenues up 3 percent

VICTORVILLE — The City Council adopted its fiscal year 2016-17 budget late Tuesday, predicting $183.7 million in city spending, including the general fund, with an additional $35 million in capital costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee (AP): California Budget: By the numbers

California Budget

California
The Associated Press
June 15, 2016 6:44 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

California lawmakers have approved a $122.5 billion budget that funds state government for 2016-17. The budget was negotiated by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, and the top two legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Paramount and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, of Los Angeles.

Here’s a look at what’s in it, and some things that are not.

Read the rest of this entry »

Associated Press: Lawmakers to vote on $122 billion California budget

California Capitol

California State Capitol in Sacramento.

By Jonathan Cooper, Associated Press
Jun. 15, 2016 – 1:24 AM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a state budget that boosts funding for safety net programs while socking away billions of dollars to prepare for a recession.

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InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County to increase budget reserves

Money

Monday, June 13, 2016 – 11:00 a.m.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is set to continue its policy of increasing the county budget cushion this year.

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SBCO

San Bernardino County administrators are set to receive a seven-percent increase in compensation over two years.

Monday, June 13, 2016 – 10:30 a.m.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is set to approve a 2016-17 fiscal year budget on Tuesday, with some important beneficiaries.

 

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Pipe Dreams

Turning a San Bernardino neighborhood into a lake? Building Branson West in Moreno Valley and RogersDale in Temecula (or Murrieta)? Here are 5 projects that never made it past the drawing board.

Published: June 11, 2016
Updated: June 12, 2016 – 8:52 a.m.

They were grand plans.

Plans that, if you believed the cheerleaders, would have created a sparkling water-themed paradise in a dangerous city, transformed a recession-battered bedroom community into Branson West, brought world-class sporting events to relatively boring Riverside and revived the dying Salton Sea with salty ocean water piped in from 160 miles away.

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The Sacramento Bee: California budget deal builds reserve, changes welfare rule

Calculator

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
June 9, 2016 – 5:01 PM

  • It would repeal limit on welfare payments for people who have more children
  • Deal boosts state’s rainy-day reserve by $2 billion
  • Wednesday is deadline for lawmakers to pass a budget

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature have reached agreement on a budget for the coming fiscal year that repeals a long-criticized rule limiting welfare payments for people who have more children, as well as making an optional $2 billion deposit into the state’s rainy-day reserve.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pay Cut

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 06/05/16 – 4:00 PM PDT |

A funding cut of $754 million statewide means the loss of half of all annual state transportation funds for projects — some underway — in the San Bernardino region, officials said.

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The Sun: Colton ballot measure seeks to fix budget with money transfer

Colton-seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 06/02/16 – 7:50 PM PDT |

COLTON >> Faced with a dwindling general fund — used to pay most city expenses, from police to parks — but enjoying surpluses in the city-run electrical fund, city officials are asking voters’ permission to use more electrical money for other purposes.

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The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE: City’s deficit looks to grow

city-of-riverside-seal

Officials project four years of multi-million dollar deficits, but say with suggested reductions the city would come out ahead by 2017-18.

Published: May 27, 2016
Updated:   May 28, 2016 7:34 a.m.

Riverside faces at least four years of belt-tightening, but proposed across-the-board budget cuts would leave the city with a more than $9 million surplus by 2021.

To read article by Alicia Robinson in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County Deputies pay situation a tragedy

Sheriff

Thursday, May 26, 2016 – 02:30 p.m.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies have fallen into the ranks of some of the lowest compensated in Southern California.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oops!

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 25, 2016 4:34 PM

  • State had anticipated more than $500 million from sale of allowances
  • The state will see just $10 million from latest auction
  • Shortfall could affect ambitious spending plans, including high-speed rail

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature got some bad news Wednesday about plans to spend more than $3 billion in proceeds from the state’s “cap-and-trade” auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies rally for higher pay

Lolita Harper

Lolita Harper, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association, the labor union representing county sheriff’s deputies and district attorney investigators, speaks during a rally Tuesday outside the San Bernardino County Government Center pushing for higher pay for sheriff’s deputies. SEBA has been in labor negotiations with the county for more than a year. (Photo by Joe Nelson)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 05/24/16 – 11:30 AM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Dozens of San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies rallied outside the County Government Center on Tuesday, pushing for higher pay after more than a year of stalled contract negotiations.

Read the rest of this entry »

City-of-Highland

By Sandra Emerson, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 05/24/16 – 6:23 PM PDT |

HIGHLAND >> The city has achieved much in the past year, Mayor Larry McCallon said at the State of the Community address on Tuesday, but fiscal uncertainties mean there are still some challenges ahead.

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California State University

Rosanna Xia
May 24, 2016

The Cal State Board of Trustees approved a plan Tuesday to raise faculty salaries by 10.5% over three years, capping a long-running dispute over pay that threatened to wreak havoc on the nation’s largest public university system.

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The much-anticipated Newport Beach Civic Center has its grand opening to the public this Saturday. Event will include tours and open house. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: nb.cityhallpreview.0503 - 5/2/13 - PHOTO BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER -- Picture made at Newport Beach City Hall in Newport Beach Thursday, May 2, 2013.

The heaviest loads in Orange County are in older cities, such as Newport Beach, that have had their own in-house police and fire departments for decades. Public safety workers usually get the most expensive pensions. (Joshua Sudock – File Photo)

By Teri Sforza / Staff Columnist
tsforza@ocregister.com
May 23, 2016 – Updated: 6:36 a.m.

So if you don’t live in Irwindale, rejoice: There, even when you look at it through rose-colored glasses, public pension liabilities equal $32,447 for each and every household in the city.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pensions

By Ed Mendel
May 23, 2016

Annual rates paid by employers to CalPERS and CalSTRS are going up, pension funding levels haven’t recovered from a big drop during the recession, and Gov. Brown’s pension reform put a lid on pension increases.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown hopes to leave on high note, but fears downturn

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 21, 2016 – 1:59 PM

  • Governor reveals concerns about how he will leave
  • Budget looms as the greatest threat to his legacy
  • He shuns tax reform, pins hopes on a small reserve

Obliquely and perhaps unwittingly, Jerry Brown has acknowledged that as his remarkable political career nears an end, he’s concerned with how history will remember him.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Lovingood’s Pension Fairy Tale Continues

Robert Lovingood

San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood has developed a new penchant for deceiving voters.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 – 01:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 23, 2016 – 08:45 a.m.

Hats off to San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood for doubling-down on his fantasy pension crack down spin.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Lovingood’s Pension Fantasy Land Tale

Dunce

Thursday, May 19, 2016 – 08:45 a.m.

San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood is living in a fantasy land.

That’s at least when it comes to the county’s pension fund.

Read the rest of this entry »

High-Speed Rail

The supports for a 1,600-foot viaduct to carry high-speed rail trains across the Fresno River are seen under construction near Madera in February. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Ralph Vartabedian
May 18, 2016

The Obama administration threw the California bullet train project another lifeline Wednesday, extending the schedule by four years for construction of 118 miles of rail through the Central Valley, according to congressional officials.

Read the rest of this entry »

Debt

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 17, 2016 – 12:03 PM

  • Pew Charitable Trusts pegged state’s debt at $344.7 billion
  • Most of the debt was for future state employee pensions
  • Unfunded health care and bonds made up the remainder

As a proportion of personal income, California had the nation’s 11th highest long-term state debt in 2013, a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts says.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 14, 2016 – 1:54 PM

  • State’s economic recovery is beginning to cool off
  • Governor cuts revenue estimate in revised budget
  • ‘Very resolute’ attitude means conflict with liberals

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his revised budget on Friday the 13th, which implies that he’s not superstitious.

Read the rest of this entry »

Calculator

May. 13, 2016 – 6:54 PM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $122.2 billion general fund spending plan Friday that sets the stage for a months-long debate with the Legislature over budget priorities.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers in Brown’s plan:

Read the rest of this entry »

Pay Raise

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
May 11, 2016 – 11:58 AM

  • Three-year deal includes salary increases
  • Employees to begin contributing to retiree medical benefit
  • Pay for medical checkups now pensionable

California’s correctional officers will see a raise on their July paychecks under terms of a new contract they overwhelmingly ratified, the union announced this week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Healthcare Tax

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 11, 2016 – 12:15 PM

  • Pew report says California owes $80.3 billion for retiree health
  • Covering obligation would more than triple current spending

California is spending more than $2 billion a year on health care for retired state employees – up more than 80 percent in the last decade, according to Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget.

Read the rest of this entry »

Calculator+Finance+Budget

By Jonathan Cooper, Associated Press
May 10, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to release his revised state budget this week, he’s hearing a chorus of calls from Democratic lawmakers, liberal interest groups and even some Republicans urging him to significantly boost spending to help California’s poorest residents.

Read the rest of this entry »

Victorville

Officials meet in workshop to comb through nearly complete FY 17 spending plan

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Posted:     May 4, 2016 at 3:28 PM
Updated: May 4, 2016 at 5:53 PM

VICTORVILLE — City officials met in a pre-budget workshop this week, broaching the upcoming fiscal year 2016-17 spending plan, where a little more than $1 million still needs to be trimmed to reach balance.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: Time for SBCERA to lower projected returns

SBCERA

Monday, May 2 , 2016 – 12:00 p.m.

It’s time for the San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA) to face reality regarding what it will make on investments in the future.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: California scores lowest on Moody’s fiscal ‘stress test’

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown carries notebook paper after unveiling his proposed 2016-17 state budget at the Capitol on Jan. 7. Brown warned that the state is overdue for a recession and needs to build reserves to cushion the effects of an economic downturn. (Renée C. Byer – rbyer@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 22, 2016 – 2:51 PM

  • Texas shines in ability to absorb a recession
  • California and Illinois at the bottom

California, whose state budget is highly dependent on volatile income taxes, is the least able big state to withstand a recession, according to a “stress test” conducted by Moody’s Investor Service.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Press: Hesperia approves resolution to unfreeze wages for city employees

hesperia_logo

By Rene Ray De La Cruz
Staff Writer
Follow @@DP_ReneDeLaCruz

Posted Apr. 21, 2016 at 10:55 AM
Updated Apr 21, 2016 at 4:53 PM

HESPERIA — The City Council approved a resolution that paves the way to unfreeze wages for union and nonunion city employees.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: CalPERS sets higher pension contribution rates

calpers

Pension fund says rate hike smaller than expected

Business & Real Estate
By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
April 20, 2016 – 5:18 PM

CalPERS approved another round of rate increases Thursday, requiring higher contributions from state agencies and school districts for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Read the rest of this entry »

High Speed Rail

A full-scale mock-up of a high-speed train is displayed at the Capitol in Sacramento last year. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Ralph Vartabedian
April 18, 2016

A key state legislative committee on Monday unanimously approved a Republican-led bill to strengthen oversight of the California bullet train, a sign of growing bipartisan concern about the project.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Millions spent on outside consultants

Riverside-County-Seal

As Riverside County faces budget crunch, some wonder why pricey specialists are needed to cut spending.

Published: April 15, 2016
Updated:   April 17, 2016 – 2:25 a.m.

Riverside County’s budget shortfall next fiscal year could approach $100 million. But it still found $44 million to spend on outside consultants.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Daily Press: Attorney fees could top $1 million in jail expansion suit

SBCO

County Supervisors up legal services contract by $400K

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Follow @@DP_Shea
Posted Apr. 12, 2016 at 4:25 PM

SAN BERNARDINO — Attorney fees could rise above $1 million in the county’s lawsuit against the architectural and design firms of the High Desert Detention Center expansion in Adelanto, which was completed in February 2014 after falling nearly $29 million over budget.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pension-Fund

Ed Mendel
April 14, 2016

CalPERS actuaries recommend that the annual state payment for state worker pensions increase $602 million in the new fiscal year to $5.35 billion, nearly doubling the $2.7 billion paid a decade ago before the recession and a huge investment loss.

Read the rest of this entry »

CCPOA

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
April 11, 2016 – 12:19 PM

  • Tentative deal makes fitness pay pensionable
  • Some leave counts toward overtime threshold
  • State’s annual payments to union’s benefits trust fund will nearly triple to $14 million

The latest tentative labor agreement with California’s correctional officers proves that there’s more than one way to boost employee compensation without calling it a “raise.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Calpensions: Brown’s long road to retiree health cost relief

Pensions

Ed Mendel
April 11, 2016

Gov. Brown’s plan to reduce state worker retiree health care costs got only a small nod in a tentative CSU faculty contract agreement last week. But three unions have agreed to begin paying down one of the state’s fastest-growing costs and largest debts.

Read the rest of this entry »

California State University

California State University and its faculty union jointly announced Friday a deal that will raise instructor salaries 10.5 percent over the next two years.

Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
April 8, 2016 – 10:00 AM

  • Deal includes 7 percent bump this year
  • CSU chancellor says deal provides ‘breathing room’ to figure out how to pay for it
  • Strike scheduled for next week averted

Just days before California State University professors were expected to walk out on the job, Chancellor Timothy White and the California Faculty Association jointly announced Friday a tentative contract agreement far more expansive than the 5 percent raise teaching staff sought for nearly a year.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: ‘Major step forward’ for San Bernardino bankruptcy

Exit Ahead

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 04/01/16 – 5:48 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The end to the city’s three-year-old bankruptcy is in sight, but the 20 years after exiting bankruptcy will still be tough, city officials tell their creditors and bankruptcy judge in the latest version of the bankruptcy exit plan.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Officials work to close huge budget gap

Riverside-County-Seal

Shortfall could reach $100 million if cost-cutting measures aren’t adopted

Published: March 30, 2016 – Updated: 11:07 p.m.

Freezing spending, holding the line on across-the-board raises and shifting existing money are key to Riverside County’s plan to stop escalating costs from drying up reserves and causing a $100 million shortfall.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Riverside-County-Seal

County faces a potential $100 million shortfall and is seeking ways to cut costs. “The KPMG report clearly outlines that CEO’s Office has been operating in a vacuum and providing inaccurate and misleading information about County departments to the Board,” the statement said.

Published: March 24, 2016 – Updated: 5:58 p.m.

Changes in how the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responds to calls and deploys its deputies and corrections officers can save taxpayers money and improve service, according to a much-awaited outside review of the county’s public safety spending.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

High-Speed Rail

A full-scale mock-up of a high-speed train is displayed at the Capitol in Sacramento. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
March 24, 2016 – 2:28 PM

  • 52 percent of adults and 44 percent of likely voters back rail
  • More would back project if it were cheaper than $64 billion
  • A pair of proposed initiatives would threaten rail funding

There’s been little positive buzz of late about California’s high-speed rail system.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE: Changes, deficit loom at City Hall

city-of-riverside-seal

After a multimillion-dollar surprise, city officials are adjusting their financial forecasting.

Published: March 18, 2016
Updated:   March 20, 2016 – 9:39 a.m.

Amid a shake-up of top finance employees, Riverside officials hope that changing the way they handle budgets and financial projections will help the city emerge from a surprise multimillion-dollar deficit.

To read article by Alicia Robinson in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

High-Speed Rail

A full-scale mock-up of a high-speed bullet train is displayed at the Capitol in Sacramento. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Ralph Vartabedian
March 18, 2016

The state has enough money to build an initial operating segment of the bullet train from San Jose to the Central Valley but faces major uncertainties about funding for the entire 500-mile system and whether the initial system will be profitable, according to a new report by researchers for the Legislature.

Read the rest of this entry »

Debt

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
March 18, 2016 12:07 PM

  • New accounting standards require pensions to be on balance sheet
  • The rules will also require health care obligations to be listed
  • Pension reformers praise inclusion as helping their cause

Although its 2014-15 budget was balanced, California’s state government ended the fiscal year $175.1 billion in the red, thanks largely to state retirement obligations that had to be included in its balance sheet for the first time.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California pension debts revealed

Pensions

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
March 15, 2016 – 4:15 PM

  • New accounting standards require pension debt to be listed
  • Multibillion-dollar unfunded liabilities are emerging
  • However, Fresno has state’s only pension fund surplus

Thanks to new accounting standards, California’s state and local governments are being forced to acknowledge tens of billions of dollars in previously obscure debt for unfunded pension liabilities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
March 12, 2016 – 8:00 AM

  • Under court pressure, prison population has dropped sharply
  • State has dropped from 166,000 to 129,000
  • However, prison spending has continued to climb

Americans of a certain age may remember the term “peace dividend.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Overtime costs soaring

Riverside-County-Seal

Eight departments spent at least $1 million on OT last fiscal year, a new report finds.

Published: March 11, 2016 – 05:27 p.m.

Eight Riverside County departments spent at least $1 million on overtime during fiscal 2014-15, and five of those departments have seen overtime costs rise 52 percent or more in the past five years, according to a new report from the county auditor-controller.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
March 8, 2016 – 3:08 PM

  • Judge rules that bullet train doesn’t violate bond act
  • However, other legal hurdles still must be cleared
  • Project still faces financial challenges as well

California’s highly controversial bullet train project dodged a bullet Tuesday when a judge declared that opponents had not proved that it would violate provisions of a 2008 bond measure.

Read the rest of this entry »

California State University

Members of the California Faculty Association and supporters attend a meeting of Cal State trustees in Long Beach on March 8. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Carla Rivera
March 8, 2016

California State University faculty members appealed to trustees Tuesday to do more to avert a strike at the nation’s largest university system, but the two sides remain at odds over salaries for about 26,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE: Council may ask voters for a raise

city-of-riverside-seal

A proposed ballot measure would bump the council’s annual pay from $41,376 to $66,211.

Published: March 4, 2016 – 1:58 p.m.

Many Riverside City Council members past and present would say that the job demands at least full-time hours.

But whether council members should be paid more than their current annual salary of $41,376 is about to become a matter of public debate.

To read article by Alicia Robinson in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

San Bernardino Seal

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

It took the San Bernardino City Council long enough to figure out that a special district parcel tax, part of a plan to fund the county taking over the city’s fire department, was nothing more than a tax grab.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County public attorneys get new contract, raises

SBCPAA

Saturday, February 27, 2016 – 04:00 p.m.

The union representing public attorneys employed by San Bernardino County has secured a new collective bargaining agreement through August 2019.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE: City officials struggling with deficit

city-of-riverside-seal

Officials say they’ll seek savings but expect to spend reserves to cover some of $8 million budget gap.

Published: Feb. 25, 2016
Updated:   Feb. 26, 2016 – 6:43 a.m.

After projecting a $1 million surplus last June, Riverside officials now say the city faces an $8 million deficit this fiscal year and potential budget gaps in coming years.

To read story by Alicia Robinson in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

The Sacramento Bee: State spending more money than ever, but how to measure it?

California Taxes

Data Tracker
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 19, 2016 – 7:41 PM

  • Total general fund and special funding in proposed plan tops $167 billion
  • Plan reflects about $7.78 in spending for every $100 in personal income
  • More spending has been shifted from general fund to special funds

When it comes to debating whether California government spends too much money or too little, there are multiple reasons agreement is hard to come by.

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The Sacramento Bee: Analyst estimates $100 million more in Prop. 47 savings than Brown

Savings

Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
February 12, 2016 – 3:20 PM

  • Report says governor’s budget does not account for cost of contracting prisoners to other states

The Legislature’s non-partisan fiscal analyst believes Gov. Jerry Brown is underestimating the amount of savings from Proposition 47, the controversial ballot initiative that reduced some nonviolent drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

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The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Tavaglione tells sheriff to cooperate

Riverside County Sheriff

Supervisor says firm hired to review public safety spending has complained about sheriff’s office.

Published: Feb. 10, 2016 – 3:48 p.m.

Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione this week called out Sheriff Stan Sniff, saying the sheriff’s office has been less than forthcoming with information for an ongoing review of public safety spending.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

The San Francisco Chronicle: California’s $400 billion debt worries analysts

Debt

By Melody Gutierrez
February 6, 2016
Updated: February 6, 2016 – 2:53pm

SACRAMENTO — California has come a long way to dig itself out of budget deficits, but the state remains on shaky ground due to nearly $400 billion in unfunded liabilities and debt from public pensions, retiree health care and bonds, financial analysts say.

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Dan Walters

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 6, 2016 3:40 PM

  • Bullet train, tunnels would be governor’s legacies
  • Both projects, however, face critical tests
  • Financing for both still very uncertain

The two immense public works projects that would be Jerry Brown legacies will soon face pivotal moments.

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Calstrs

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METRO

By Daniel Borenstein
dborenstein@bayareanewsgroup.com
Posted: 02/04/2016 06:00:00 PM PST
Updated: 02/04/2016 09:14:06 PM PST

Two years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed through a 32-year plan to shore up the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

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NYSE Trading Floor

Specialist Michael Gagliano, foreground, works with traders at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. The stock market’s problems likely contributed to lower-than-estimated California income tax revenue in January, the LAO reports. (Richard Drew AP)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
February 3, 2016 3:53 PM

  • Preliminary income tax revenue for January $260 million less than proposed budget estimate
  • Corporation tax for month $93 million above estimates
  • LAO cautions that “continued stock market weakness” could mean lower revenue through June

It’s been a heady ride for California finances in recent years, with budget revenue outpacing estimates by billions of dollars, buoyed along by the state’s healthy economic growth in 2015.

Could that trend be coming to an end?

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Riverside-County-Seal

Supervisor Marion Ashley presents 16-point plan to address financial challenges, which the board agrees to have staff look more into.

Published: Feb. 2, 2016
Updated:   Feb. 3, 2016 – 8:04 a.m.

Employee furloughs, Friday office closures and a hiring freeze are among the ideas suggested by a Riverside County supervisor Tuesday, Feb. 2 to deal with the county’s ongoing financial challenges.

To read article by Jeff Horseman in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

San Bernardino Police

Police Officer Edward Lee, a member of the San Bernardino Police Department, at a wall that a robber reportedly climbed. (Credit Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times)

By Michael Wines
Feb. 2, 2016

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Detective Ryan Wicks trained the headlights of his Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor on a young man spotted fleeing local gang members and climbed out of his car, a battered black-and-white cruiser of mid-2000s vintage. The odometer stood north of 95,000 miles. A rear fender was scarred by the belt buckles of hundreds of suspects who had been spread-eagled against it.

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The Sun: San Bernardino, fire union resolve $40 million in claims

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 02/01/16 – 9:26 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> An agreement between the city and its firefighter union that ends more than $40 million worth of disputes is now final, with approval from both sides.

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InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County pension fund suffers another quarterly loss

SBCO

Monday, February 1, 2016 – 08:30 a.m.

It’s nice that San Bernardino County coffers are flush with money.

Because it looks like it’ll be needed for the pension fund, the San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA).

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The Sun: San Bernardino gets $148 parcel tax, fire outsourcing

San Bernardino Seal

Local Agency Formation Commission voted unanimously to move forward Wednesday with the city of San Bernardino’s proposal to annex the 137-year old San Bernardino Fire Department into Fire Protection District Service Zone FP5-5, giving responsibility for fire and emergency medical response to the county fire department.

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 01/27/16 – 11:09 AM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A plan to outsource the city Fire Department and add a parcel tax of $148 per year took a big step forward Wednesday with the unanimous approval of the agency in charge of overseeing that process.

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Accounting

The State Worker
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
January 27, 2016 11:12 AM

  • The state’s unfunded liability grew, but more slowly than expected

California faces a $74.1 billion obligation to cover state retirees’ medical expenses over the next three decades, according to a new report released by state Controller Betty Yee.

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