Bill helps seniors and sick pay for care
Posted on April 24, 2013
SACRAMENTO – The Senate Insurance Committee will consider a bill this afternoon that would allow life insurance policyholders to advance the payment of death benefits when they encounter costly and life changing health conditions.
Senators Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) and Ted Gaines (R-Roseville), chair and vice-chair of the Senate Insurance Committee, will ask the committee to support SB 281 (Calderon), which would allow insurers to offer a type of life insurance benefit known as a “living benefit” because it is paid while the insured is still alive. California would be the 48th state to allow living benefits. Read more…
Pension reform without the politics
Posted on December 2, 2012
Los Angeles desperately needs to reform its public employee retirement system, with or without former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan’s ballot measure. Riordan and the public employee union leaders who trashed his proposal agree on one point: A financial analysis is needed before a proposal is submitted to voters. Great idea. Let’s do it.
Watchdog or special interest lapdog?
Posted on November 28, 2012
Consumer Watchdog, a self-styled consumer group, is calling on the state Fair Political Practices Commission to require political bloggers like me to reveal our clients, something we already do. At the same time, Consumer Watchdog refuses to disclose the sources of its financial support.
One source of Consumer Watchdog’s financing is public record. Consumer Watchdog sprang from the loins of Voter Revolt, which gave us Proposition 103 and auto insurance reform in 1988. Organizations created by Prop. 103 author Harvey Rosenfield have collected $7.8 million in intervenor fees since his measure passed, including $2.4 million in 2009 alone. Read more…
Bankruptcy filings by California cities may rein in pensions
Posted on November 5, 2012
As financially troubled cities suspend their payments to California’s pension fund, federal bankruptcy judges may have the final word on the long-assumed inviolability of retirement benefits.
Neither Vallejo nor Stockton mentioned pension rights of current or retired employees when they filed for bankruptcy protection, even as they sought relief from holders of bonds and other creditors. But companies that had insured hundreds of millions of dollars in Stockton’s bonds mounted stiff resistance, contending that if they had to take a financial haircut, the city’s retirees should as well. Read more…
Pension reforms are stronger than you think
Posted on October 1, 2012
The Queen of Hearts probably wouldn’t sign the same pension reform bill that Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed, but Wonderland doesn’t have courts to protect employee contractual rights, a legislature representing widely divergent views and public employee unions with bigger treasuries than the monarchy.
The more complex the issue, the more compromise is necessary. Pension reform is no different.
Without question, the most significant of the governor’s reforms is the requirement that state employees pay half the cost of their pension benefits. Wall Street agrees. Moody’s Investment Services said the reforms improve the credit outlook for the state and local governments that participate in state pension plans. The two largest, CalPERS and CalSTRS, will save $77 billion over 30 years – a fraction of the state’s enormous pension debt, but nothing to sniff at. Read more…