Archive for the ‘ Budget ’ Category

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

.

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

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).

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: San Bernardino, fire union reach tentative ‘global settlement’

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 01/25/16 – 9:10 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The city and one of its most consistent legal adversaries, the fire union, have a tentative agreement that ends all of their legal disputes, after the City Council approved it during a closed session meeting Monday, according to City Attorney Gary Saenz.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 24, 2016 – 9:02 AM

  • Jerry Brown wants to sock away extra billions
  • Democratic legislators want to spend extra billions
  • Governor warns that reserves needed to cushion recession

The single most important factor in writing a new state budget is determining how much money there is to spend.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: SAN BERNARDINO: Bankruptcy plan hurts those injured by city

San Bernardino Seal

Those who have filed claims against the city would receive 1 percent of what they’re owed under the insolvency proposal

Published: Jan. 22, 2016
Updated:   Jan. 23, 2016 – 9:06 p.m.

The city of San Bernardino hopes that a provision of its bankruptcy-exit plan will erase more than $49 million from the books by allowing it to pay only 1 percent – $500,000 – to its unsecured creditors.

To read story by Brian Rokos in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Pothole

California transportation officials plan to cut funding for road and transit projects by $754 million over the next five years.

Patrick McGreevy
January 22, 2016

Faced with plummeting gasoline tax revenue, state transportation officials have announced plans to cut funding for road and transit projects by $754 million over the next five years, the greatest reduction in two decades.

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Jerry Brown

State of the State address

John Myers
January 21, 2016

In a short speech with a long view of California, Gov. Jerry Brown used his State of the State address to challenge lawmakers to better balance the cyclical nature of success and setback that has dominated state government for the better part of two decades.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 21, 2016 6:08 PM

  • Jerry Brown’s State of the State address explores no new ground
  • He appears content to check off items on political bucket list for California
  • But does he see a political role as governorship winds down?

No Latin phrases. No paeans to pioneer ancestors. No quotes from obscure philosophers. A brief reference to climate change. Just a couple of mild quips.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: More San Bernardino County investigations under the surface

SBCO

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

There’s more under the microscope in San Bernardino County than meets the eye.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 19, 2016 3:42 PM

  • Unfunded retirement costs at least $200 billion
  • Latest pension reform effort collapses
  • Benefit debt is destined to grow even larger

With no thought to long-term financial consequences, California politicians, both state and local, have saddled taxpayers with hundreds of billions of dollars in debt for pensions and retiree health care.

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Contra Costa Times: California retirement liabilities remain despite surplus

Pension Reform

Associated Press
Posted: 01/18/2016 – 10:51:49 PM PST
Updated: 01/18/2016 – 10:52:19 PM PST

SACRAMENTO — The California budget that Gov. Jerry Brown proposed this month marks a shocking financial turnaround for a state that just a few years ago faced a $26 billion deficit.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California has big money, hot politics in poverty

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 17, 2016 – 9:06 AM

  • Millions of people in state are mired in poverty
  • Caring for their needs costs $200 billion a year
  • But politicians wrangle over whether it’s enough

Gov. Jerry Brown was still explaining his new budget to reporters on Jan. 7 when advocates for the poor, who didn’t like what he was saying, began firing email blasts.

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The Press-Enterprise: REGION: Cities still pursuing own police force

Riverside County Sheriff

Twelve Riverside County cities seeking to save money on law enforcement costs.

Published: Jan. 15, 2016 – Updated: 10:45 p.m.

Twelve Riverside County cities looking to save money on law enforcement costs could decide next month whether to pursue a feasibility study on forming their own police force.

To read article by Imran Ghori in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Los Angeles Times: L.A. County’s legal costs soared 24% in 2015

Los Angeles County - Men's Central Jail

The front of the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail is shown. Lawsuits involving the Sheriff’s Department, which runs the county jails, contributed to a dramatic increase in the county’s legal costs in 2015. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Abby Sewell
January 15, 2016

Los Angeles County’s spending on lawsuit-related attorney fees, settlements and judgments rose 24% last year — an increase driven largely by litigation against the Sheriff’s Department.

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The Sacramento Bee: Analyst calls Jerry Brown’s budget ‘prudent’

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown carries notebook paper outlining his proposed 2016-17 state budget after a news conference at the California State Capitol Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. (Renee C. Byer rbyer@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
January 11, 2016 11:38 AM

  • Legislative Analyst’s Office warns of possible economic downturn
  • Brown’s estimates for local property tax revenue about $1 billion too low

The Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst on Monday called Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest budget proposal a “prudent” spending plan, while arguing he may underestimate the amount of available revenue.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Tax issue nags Jerry Brown

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 10, 2016 3:30 PM

  • Brown wrestled with complex issue four decades ago
  • State has changed corporate taxation formulas several times since
  • It’s still unsettled in Brown’s second governorship

State taxation of multistate and multinational corporations is not an issue for the fainthearted.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown leaves a news conference where he unveiled his proposed 2016-17 state budget. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

John Myers
January 8, 2016

It was during a boisterous and brusque budget presentation when Gov. Jerry Brown offered a candid assessment of why he’s unwilling to grant too many legislative spending requests.

Read the rest of this entry »

California

Capitol Alert
By David Siders, Jim Miller and Jeremy B. White
dsiders@sacbee.com
January 7, 2016 9:45 AM

  • Democratic governor warns of possible downturn
  • Brown will build reserves more than required
  • School funding increases also planned

Gov. Jerry Brown, issuing a $170.6 billion state spending plan Thursday, proposed billions of dollars in new funding for schools, climate change programs and services for the elderly and disabled.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 7, 2016 12:08 PM

  • Brown proposes $170.7 billion budget
  • Governor warns of new recession
  • Tells legislators to curb spending plans

Gov. Jerry Brown, warning that “the next recession is getting closer,” doubled down Thursday on holding down state spending and building reserves.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses the 2012-13 budget in 2012. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

John Myers and Melanie Mason
January 7, 2015

In an effort to break a political and policy logjam, Gov. Jerry Brown will unveil a state budget that revamps a controversial tax on health plans to avoid jeopardizing federal healthcare dollars.

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The Sacramento Bee: Five things to watch for in Jerry Brown’s budget proposal

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown, waits to answers questions during a news conference where he announced a budget agreement last June. Brown will release his latest budget proposal Thursday. (Renee C. Byer rbyer@sacbee.com)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller and David Siders
jmiller@sacbee.com
January 5, 2016 5:34 PM

  • Democratic governor will release spending plan Thursday
  • Revenue running above last year’s estimates
  • Brown and fellow Democrats in Legislature have butted heads on spending proposals

Gov. Jerry Brown will release his budget proposal for the coming year Thursday, amid a strong state economy and fiscal experts’ predictions that tax revenue will continue to surpass estimates from last June.

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The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California’s budget windfall could be flashpoint

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
January 4, 2016 2:37 PM

  • State getting billions of extra dollars
  • Democrats want to spend financial windfall
  • Gov. Jerry Brown remains reluctant

Halfway through the 2015-16 fiscal year, state finances are continuing to improve with billions of extra revenue dollars.

Ordinarily, that would be good news.

Read the rest of this entry »

California Capitol

Juliet Williams, Associated Press
Sunday, January 3, 2016 – Updated: 10:57 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers return to the Capitol Monday facing two of the most vexing problems from last year: a looming $1 billion hole in funding for the state’s health care program for the poor and a $59 billion backlog in road repairs needed over the next decade.

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The Hill: Fury of the right falls on Ryan

The Hill

By Scott Wong
12/26/15 – 12:02 PM EST

Outside the Beltway, the right is livid with new Speaker Paul Ryan’s trillion-dollar spending deal with Democrats.

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Orange County Seal

By Jessica Kwong / Staff Writer
Dec. 24, 2015 – Updated 9:25 a.m.

SANTA ANA – Employees with Orange County’s largest union are heading into the holidays assured of their biggest salary raise since the recession, under a three-year contract the Board of Supervisors approved Wednesday morning.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: MURRIETA: City taking $4.8 million hit to budget

Murrieta

State has ordered city to pay county to settle dispute about loans made to the city’s former redevelopment agency.

Published: Dec. 20, 2015
Updated:   Dec. 21, 2015 – 6:53 a.m.

The state’s Department of Finance is forcing Murrieta to pay $4.8 million to Riverside County to settle a dispute about loans the city made to its former redevelopment agency in the mid-2000s.

To read article by Aaron Claverie in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

Los Angeles Times: What California stands to gain from Congress’ budget deal

California Money

By Christine Mai-Duc
December 18, 2015

The sweeping budget deal — a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill — tackles a number of policy areas, including making some $650 billion in tax breaks permanent, adopting new cybersecurity rules and repealing a decades-old ban on crude oil exports.

Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Ryan

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) on Capitol Hill. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Lisa Mascaro
December 17, 2015

By approving a massive package of tax breaks Thursday, House Republicans — who have made deficit-slashing the holy grail of their majority — just piled on nearly $650 billion in red ink.

Read the rest of this entry »

Politico: 2,200 pages, $1.8 trillion, dead of night

U.S. Capitol

Congress released more than 2,200 pages of legislation in the dead of night. | AP

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Politico

What’s really in the year-end tax and spending bill?

By Bernie Becker
12/16/15 – 04:24 PM EST

Congress released more than 2,200 pages of legislation in the dead of night — containing $1.1 trillion in spending, about $680 billion in tax cuts and a string of other policy changes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roll Call: Winners and Losers in the Omnibus and Tax Bills

Roll Call Logo

By Roll Call Staff
Posted on Dec. 16 at 10:52 a.m.

Both Democrats and Republicans won a few and lost a few in the $1.1 trillion spending bill and package of tax extensions that congressional negotiators agreed on late Tuesday.

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Paul Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan announces the bipartisan budget agreement on Wednesday. (Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)

Michael Hiltzik
December 16, 2015

When Congress legislates at night and in haste, you can be sure mischief is being done. Sure enough, the budget deal announced late Tuesday by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), takes an ax to efforts to limit the torrent of big money into politics.

Read the rest of this entry »

Secretary of State

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
December 15, 2015

  • Controller’s searchable website covers $36 billion in wages
  • City wage, benefit costs decline while county costs increase

State Controller Betty Yee has released a new searchable database of local government salaries, covering 602,377 positions with more than $36 billion in wages.

Read the rest of this entry »

Politico: Tax deal swelling into $800 billion blowout

Politico

By Brian Faler
12/02/15 – 05:37 PM EST

  • Budget hawks cry foul as Democratic and GOP wish lists find their way into a developing year-end bargain on tax breaks.

Congress is eyeing a year-end budget-busting tax cut blowout.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Our cities have become vulnerable

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
November 29, 2015

  • Bankruptcies and scandals showed danger
  • Pension burdens one major factor
  • Auditor to monitor local governments

The bankruptcies of three cities and high-profile financial scandals in a couple of others demonstrated the operational vulnerabilities of California’s municipalities.

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InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County Pension shortfall approaches $2 billion

SBCO

Saturday, November 28, 2015 – 11:00 a.m.

Even though San Bernardino County, California has been ponying up tens of millions of dollars more in annual pension contributions each of the past several years, the funding situation hasn’t significantly changed.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: Troubles continue for courts

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
November 26, 2015

  • Financial, managerial problems plague system
  • Rebel judges battle with judicial leaders
  • Ability of courts to function threatened

There’s nothing more fundamental to a well-functioning society than an efficient, fair court system to resolve civil disputes and criminal cases.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: State still owes one huge debt

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
November 25, 2015

  • California borrowed $10 billion for unemployment insurance
  • Taxes on employers raised to repay big debt
  • However, insurance fund still insolvent

When Jerry Brown returned to the governorship in 2011, he pledged to clean up the state’s finances and pay off a “wall of debt.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Hill: Obstacles imperil budget deal

The Hill

By Alexander Bolton – 11/25/15 06:01 AM EST

Congressional leaders face several hurdles to getting a budget deal done by the Dec. 11 deadline, including a fight over health funding that is holding up the omnibus spending package.

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The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Jail project ties up county cash

Riverside-County-Seal

Building funds are being eaten up by Indio detention center.

Published: Nov. 23, 2015 – Updated: 8:59 p.m.

If you compared Riverside County’s ability to build new public facilities to a credit card, it would be almost maxed out.

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

InlandPolitics: Opinion: Jerry Brown right on CalPERS funding problem

Jerry Brown

Brown

Monday, November 23, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

Not that I agree with California Governor Jerry Brown on much.

But he’s correct regarding the fix to the under-funding problem affecting the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS).

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
November 22, 2015

  • California continues to see strong revenue gains
  • Jerry Brown wants to build rainy-day reserves
  • Other Democrats have spending plans in mind

As the Great Recession gripped California, state revenues plummeted by 20 percent and Capitol politicians and major stakeholders battled over which programs would take the hits.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pay Raise

Abby Sewell
November 20, 2015

Workers represented by Los Angeles County’s largest employee union voted to approve a tentative agreement with county management that would give them a 10% raise over three years.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Times: CalPERS pay-down plan isn’t fast enough for Gov. Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown’s disappointment over the CalPERS plans hints at a larger tug of war between him and the state employee unions. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

John Myers
November 19, 2015

  • Jerry Brown disagrees with the new CalPERS pay-down plan

If there is one thing that Gov. Jerry Brown has made a calling card since returning to office in 2011, it’s a push toward paying down government debt.

Read the rest of this entry »

calpers

For years, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System has estimated its investments will earn an average of 7.5% or more a year. Now it plans to slowly reduce that rate to 6.5%.

Melody Petersen
November 18, 2015

The board of California’s largest public pension fund approved a plan Wednesday to lower its estimate of future investment returns — a move that will require taxpayers to pay billions of dollars more than expected over the next decades.

Read the rest of this entry »

LAO

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
November 18, 2015

  • Legislature’s fiscal analyst assumes continuing economic growth
  • Projected revenue through June 2016 about $3.5 billion more than budget projection
  • Gov. Jerry Brown will present proposed 2016-17 spending plan in January

California’s economic engine will continue to hum in the coming years, allowing the state to ring up a series of multibillion-dollar budget surpluses and build rainy-day reserves, the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst projected Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Current spending unsustainable, report warns

Riverside-County-Seal

Officials say the county’s $239M in savings could be exhausted if changes aren’t made

Published: Nov. 17, 2015 – Updated: 11:47 p.m.

If nothing is done, Riverside County’s $239 million in savings could be wiped out in a few years, according to a new county budget report.

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

CalPERS

Melody Petersen
Novembe 17, 2015

Experts have warned for years that the state’s largest public pension plan has overestimated how much its investments will earn, leaving taxpayers to pay billions of dollars more than expected.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County union gets contract, but not much else

SBCO

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 – 08:30 a.m.

The largest union representing San Bernardino County workers, Teamsters Local 1932, has set a contract ratification vote in motion.

Read the rest of this entry »

Calculator+Finance+Budget

Soumya Karlamangla
October 9, 2015

Half of Californians in the country illegally would be eligible for the state’s healthcare program for the poor if it were expanded under a proposal by legislators, a new report finds.

Read the rest of this entry »

InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County pension fund records quarterly loss

SBCO

Thursday, November 5, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

If San Bernardino County leaders want a reason to push back at union demands for salary and benefit increases they now have it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Foothill Freeway

The 210 Freeway and Sunland Boulevard intersect at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, near where tunneling for the bullet train is proposed. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Ralph Vartabedian
November 3, 2015

The California high-speed rail authority bowed to pressure from California legislators and members of Congress late Tuesday and released a copy of a 2013 report showing a large estimated increase in the cost of building the initial segment of the bullet train project.

Read the rest of this entry »

The San Diego Union-Tribune: More trouble for governor’s rail project

Jerry Brown+High Speed Rail

By Steven Greenhut | Oct. 30, 2015 – 2:53 p.m.

  • Concealed report: Overruns, delays plague high-speed rail

Sacramento — One of the biggest problems with Gov. Jerry Brown’s efforts to battle climate change is the “do or die” nature of the situation. Based on his rhetoric, there’s little room for debate over costs, benefits, details and oversight. When the future of the Earth is at stake, then nothing else seems to matter. A new brouhaha over one of Brown’s signature anti-climate-change projects illustrates this situation.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: REGION: Three new cities to see debt erased

No Debt

But a fourth, Eastvale, won’t get any relief from what it owes the county.

Published: Oct. 29, 2015 – 4:10 p.m.

Riverside County’s four newest cities have been told that a one-time, $23.7 million, infusion of state money will wipe out debts that Menifee, Wildomar and Jurupa Valley owe to the county.

To read article by Sandra Stokley in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

The Washington Post: Congressional leaders, White House reach two-year budget deal

U.S. Capitol

House Republican leaders struck a budget deal with the White House just before midnight on Oct. 26 to avert a government shutdown and forestall a debt crisis.

By Kelsey Snell
October 27, 2015 at 1:30 AM

House Republican leaders introduced legislation just before midnight on Monday, finalizing a two-year budget agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House. The introduction sets up a vote as early as Wednesday on the bipartisan budget deal which would increase military and domestic spending and avert a potentially catastrophic default in exchange for long-term spending cuts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Foothill Freeway

The Foothill Freeway and Sunland Boulevard intersect at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, through which about 20 miles of tunnels will be required. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Ralph Vartabedian
October 24, 2015

  • Bullet train project likely to overshoot budget and deadline targets

The monumental task of building California’s bullet train will require punching 36 miles of tunnels through the geologically complex mountains north of Los Angeles.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: San Bernardino audit letter received, but process not complete

San Bernardino City Hall

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/23/15 – 7:25 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The city at last has a letter from its independent audit firm on whether its financial statements are accurate, but Friday evening it still hadn’t received the full audit — two days after it was last promised, and more than a year and a half after the state deadline.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sun: Overdue San Bernardino audits expected Wednesday

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/20/15 – 5:00 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> After more than a year of delays and suspicion, an audit of the city’s 2012-13 financial statements should be finished Wednesday and presented to the City Council and public Nov. 2, according to city staffers and the audit firm.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Press-Enterprise: S.B. COUNTY SURVEY: Economic outlook marginally better

csusb_logo_new

Seventy-Five percent of San Bernardino County residents still see financial outlook as only ‘fair’ or ‘poor.’

Published: Oct. 14, 2015 – 4:25 p.m.

San Bernardino County residents’ outlook for the local economy has improved since the Great Recession, but their views for the county as a good and safe place to live have fallen over the same period, a telephone poll of residents concludes.

To read article by Richard K. De Atley in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

The Sentinel: Did San Bernardino County mislead state?

SBCO

By Mark Gutglueck
Posted on October 9, 2015

Despite its $146 million price tag, including $29 million in construction cost overruns, the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto sustained an undetermined degree of damage, likely in the neighborhood of $300,000, when a rare summer rainstorm caused flooding in the facility’s kitchen and laundry areas because of a faulty roof.

Read the rest of this entry »

Riverside-County-Seal

Cost rises to $31.1 million on troubled project to renovate building, which public defenders and probation staff will move into.

Published: Oct. 9, 2015
Updated: Oct. 11, 2015 6:35 p.m.

It will now cost $31.1 million — almost $12 million more than expected — to renovate the former Riverside County district attorney’s headquarters in downtown Riverside, adding expense to a project that’s been plagued by delays and structural problems.

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

Carbon Tax

Illustration of global seesaw with large and small industrial polluters on either end balancing it out with transfers of cash for carbon credits. (Parra MCT)

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
October 11, 2015

  • Legislature adjourned without acting on billions in cap-and-trade funds
  • There’s no agreement on how to spend carbon-auction proceeds
  • Meanwhile, the auction program faces a lawsuit challenge

One of the chores the Legislature left undone when it adjourned was spending billions of dollars from auctioning carbon dioxide emission credits.

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The Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown vetoes tax credit bills, warns of budget cuts

Warning

Capitol Alert
By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
October 10, 2015

  • California governor cites failure of Legislature to approve healthcare tax he wanted

Gov. Jerry Brown, warning of a “precariously balanced” state budget and the prospect of more than $1 billion in spending cuts next year, on Saturday vetoed a slate of bills to create new tax credits or expand existing ones.

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The Sun: Overdue San Bernardino audits argued over

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/09/15 – 8:09 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Residents pleading for completion of two long overdue audits of the city’s finances — one bearing a sign demanding “Bring in the F.B.I. / Complete the audits!” — didn’t get the answer they should have, says Mayor Carey Davis.

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The Sun: Bankruptcy judge: San Bernardino must provide more information

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/08/15 – 8:36 PM PDT |

RIVERSIDE >> The bankrupt city of San Bernardino will have to produce much more extensive information — at a pace its advisers say will be grueling — before it can clear a vital hurdle in the path of bankruptcy plan confirmation, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury said Thursday.

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The Sacramento Bee: California borrowing ratio down, still among highest

California Money

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
October 5, 2015

  • Debt represents estimated 6.79 percent of general fund in 2015-16
  • Debt ratio lowest since 2009-10
  • California has among the highest debt loads using other measurements

California’s debt load equals an estimated 6.79 percent of the state’s general fund for the current budget year, the lowest level since the depths of the recession, according to the latest debt-affordability report from state Treasurer John Chiang.

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Riverside County Sheriff

Thirteen Riverside County cities, including Temecula, are exploring the possibility of creating a regional police force. Their study is sparked by the rising cost of contracting with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. (Frank Bellino / File)

Published: Oct. 2, 2015
Updated: Oct. 5, 2015 – 8:11 a.m.

  • Frustrated by rising costs, they are studying the idea of ending their Sheriff’s Department contracts and forming a new agency.

A group of 13 Riverside County cities are looking into whether they can save money on law enforcement costs by pooling their resources to form their own police force.

To read story by Imran Ghori in The Press-Enterprise, click here.

The Press-Enterprise: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Audit to cost $761,600

Riverside-County-Seal

Officials expected to OK hiring firm to review public safety spending.

Published: Oct. 2, 2015 – 5:18 p.m.

Riverside County is poised to spend $761,600 on a top-to-bottom review of public safety spending to ensure that the biggest part of the county’s budget is being spent wisely.

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

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama gestures as he answers question during a news conference in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press
Oct. 2, 2015 | 6:11 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Friday he won’t sign another temporary government funding bill after the current one expires Dec. 11, insisting that congressional Republicans and Democrats work out a long-term budget deal with the White House.

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Capitol Public Radio: August State Budget Revenues Top Projections

Capitol Public Radio

Ben Adler
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 | Sacramento, CA |

California tax revenues continue to stream in. The state is nearly half a billion dollars above budget projections just two months into the new fiscal year – though there’s one big caveat.

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The Atlantic Wire: Republicans Swear This Shutdown Will Be Different

GOP

The strategy has never worked for the GOP’s right flank, but they’re going down the same path anyway.

Russell Berman
September 9, 2015

Conservatives in Congress are mounting what will likely be a futile fight to defund Planned Parenthood, even if it means shutting down the entire federal government.

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Riverside-County-Seal

What happens could be an indicator for negotiations with other labor units whose deals expire next year.

Published: Aug. 30, 2015 – Updated: 11:14 p.m.

Members of a union representing Riverside County prosecutors and other county lawyers have been working since the end of June without a new contract and the county is taking a firm line on pay raises, according to the union’s president.

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

calpers

Under a proposal, CalPERS would begin slowly moving more money into safer investments such as bonds.

By Melody Petersen
August 30, 2015

California taxpayers have never paid more for public worker pensions, but it’s still not enough to cover the rising number of retirement checks written by the state’s largest pension plan.

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San Bernardino Seal

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 – 12:30 p.m.

Only San Bernardino, California could hatch a whacked-out and completely unlawful scheme to tax it’s property owners.

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Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
August 25, 2015

  • Gov. Jerry Brown talks about climate change
  • But there are warnings about other disasters
  • Earthquakes, budget meltdown also threaten

Gov. Jerry Brown says California’s drought and the wildfires it has spawned are wake-up calls about the potentially cataclysmic effects of climate change.

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The Sun: San Bernardino moves to outsource fire, raise parcel tax

San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 08/25/15 – 12:25 AM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The City Council voted 4-3 on Monday to move forward with transferring responsibility for fire and emergency protection to the County Fire Department, a move that would also mean a $142-per-year tax on every parcel in the city.

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