Monday, January 13, 2014
Is there a Changing State Attitude Regarding the UC Pension? Reading Between the Lines
We noted recently that in his budget document describing his proposal for 2014-15, the governor listed the UC pension and retiree health obligations along with those of other state plans. The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO), which at one time was adamant about the liability not belonging to the state, has not been repeating that position of late. Indeed, the LAO has just released its summary of the governor's budget plan. It notes that the governor is trying to move to what can be seen as a block grant approach to UC (and CSU) funding, rather than one based on enrollments or particular programs. LAO complains that such an approach reduces control by the legislature. In citing examples of an alternative approach, the LAO says [page 30]:
For example, the state could allocate new funding for specific purposes such as a COLA, maintenance projects, or pension obligations.
You have to read between the lines to take this as a shift in attitude towards the UC pension. But LAO could have picked other examples.
The LAO document is at: http://lao.ca.gov/reports/2014/budget/overview/budget-overview-2014.pdf