David Crane Breaks it Down in Layman’s Terms, Public Employee Pension Benefits, General Funds, Special Funds, Non-discretionary, Fiscally-protected and Discretionary

David Crane has a new piece cross posted today at Fox and Hounds Daily and on Advancing a New Society
The title, With Retirement Costs Consuming One-Fifth of Discretionary Spending, California Must Reduce Un-Accrued Pension Benefits makes the point plain and simple. Then Crane breaks it down, for those who don’t understand the distinctions of public finance funds, budgets, and projections.

He breaks public funds down into categories, and even provides a chart for those of us who love graphics to help drive a point home.

Pensions and other retirement costs will consume more than 23% of discretionary state spending in fiscal year 2012-13, according to the budget recently passed by the California State Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown – nearly three times the share taken up by retirement costs just ten years ago.

For Californians, rapid growth in retirement costs has meant less money for universities, parks, courts and other services as well as a temporary tax increase in 2009 and another being proposed currently (one of three proposed tax increases on the November ballot – Propositions 30, 38 & 39). In the absence of reform, that share will grow, which means even more taxes and fewer services.

California’s general and special fund spending for 2012-13 is budgeted at $131 billion and effectively fits into three categories: Non-discretionary, Fiscally-protected and Discretionary.

Allow me to explain all three in layman’s terms:  (click here to go to Fox and Hound to read the full article)

Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog’s John Seiler, Tony Quinn of Fox&Hound, CA State Senator & Chair of Dems for Ed Reform Gloria Romero & Lydia Grant, Community Activist & Student Liaison in L.A.U.S.D.

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
July 12, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:   Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog’s John Seiler, Tony Quinn of Fox & Hound Daily, Chair of Dems for Ed Reform, Past CA Senator & Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero and Community Activist and Student Liaison Lydia Grant.  

Former CA State Senator and Senate Majority Leader, now Chair of CA Democrats for Education Reform issued a statement last week calling for sitting CA Board of Education member Patricia Rucker to recuse herself from the board’s hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, July 13th, when the board decides on the final draft of rules for The Parent Trigger law in California in California.   If the rules are not adopted at this hearing, then the process needs to begin all over again.  

We’ll talk with the Senator over her role in passing the Parent Trigger Law when she was in the CA Legislature, her support for the Parent Trigger Law, and why she is riding with two bus loads of parents, to Sacramento to appear before the CA State Board of Education in support of the The Parent Trigger Law.   

Tony Quinn joins us to discuss his passionate op-ed, Excluding The Public: The Redistricting Commission Goes Dark | Fox & Hounds Daily, published yesterday in Fox and Hound Daily concerning the “black out” we are now experiencing from our CA Redistricting Commission.  
We’ll also speak with Tony regarding his Fox & Hound colleague Joel Fox’s op-ed concerning the CA Legislature’s attack on Prop 13, “First, They Want to Go After Business Property Taxes.”

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929. 

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Excluding The Public: The Redistricting Commission Goes Dark | Fox & Hounds Daily

By Tony Quinn
Political Commentator and Former Legislative Staffer
Mon, July 11th, 2011

Running out of time, beset by rebellious consultants, and manipulated by partisans, the Citizens Redistricting Commission has decided to exclude citizens from the process. The Commission is going dark.

On Saturday, the Commission voted not to release a second set of draft redistricting maps to the press or the public on July 14 as promised. They also voted not to post maps of the districts they are drawing on their own redistricting website. Despite a $3 million budget and hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to their consultants, the consultants told them they had no time for public maps. Outside groups are being recruited for that task. Click here to read more.
(Tony Quinn joins me on Gadfly Radio Tuesday, July 12, at 8PM. Our other guests include Former CA State Senator, Gloria Romero, and Citizen liaison, activist, Lydia Grant)