Public Pension Update
California households owe an average $30,500 for public employee pension debt
Contra Costa Times - The average California household's share of the debt for underfunded state and local government employee pensions comes to about $30,500. Stanford University studies released last week and in December for the first time aggregate public pension shortfalls statewide. Using moderate assumptions about future investment returns, the unfunded liability is about $379 billion. Hard-core pension reformers will maintain that the number is much higher. Defenders of the status quo will insist it's significantly less. Before sorting out that dispute, let's understand what the numbers mean. Each year that public employees work, they increase their future pensions.
In Case You Missed It: GOP Taking Lead On State Pension Fix
Previously Published in Santa Rosa Press-Democrat
“ Republicans in the state Legislature hit the political daily double by unequivocally endorsing Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension reform plan. GOP legislators did the right thing, and, in the process, they turned up the heat on their Democratic colleagues.
…The governor’s 12-point plan would constitute a modest reform of a pension program whose costs have soared wildly since 1999, when benefits were retroactively increased by 50 percent without adding any additional revenue. The stock market collapse in 2008 added to unfunded liabilities now estimated at as much as $500 billion…
…Legislative Democrats, including Senate President Darrell Steinberg, are promising to address pensions this spring. But they have yet to say what reforms they’re willing to support. If it’s less than the governor proposed, there will be little reason for voters to support their proposal to temporarily increase income and sales taxes to provide more money for public education and county jails.
Brown’s plan ultimately requires voter approval. His Democratic colleagues need to step up and give voters a chance to weigh in on pension reform.
On this issue, they appear to have willing allies among legislative Republicans.”
To read the entire editorial, please visit the Press-Democrat’s Web site here.
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Half Dome Permit Deadline
If you’re looking to climb Half Dome this year, the permit application deadline is quickly approaching. March 31is the last day to apply for advance permits for the May 25-October 8 hiking season.
The permit system was established by Yosemite Park officials in 2010 for the safety of all hikers. By limiting the number of hikers on the trail, it will make for a more enjoyable experience for hikers and lead to fewer accidents.
To apply for a Half Dome permit, visit www.Recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777.
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Stanislaus County Library Celebrates 100 years
2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Stanislaus County Library System. Celebrate this Centennial by participating in one or more of the events hosted by the Library.
During the month of April, library branches will be hosting birthday parties with birthday cake, crafts, and more. Join the celebration at your local library.
Saturday, April 7
Modesto Library – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Monday, April 9
Salida Library – 4 or 5 p.m.
Tuesday, April 10
Newman Library – 5 p.m.
Wednesday, April 11
Hughson Library – 3 p.m.
Keyes Library – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Patterson Library – 3:30 p.m.
Turlock Library – 11 a.m.
Waterford Library – 6 p.m.
Thursday, April 12
Ceres Library – 3 p.m.
Denair Library – 3 p.m.
Oakdale Library – 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 14
Riverbank Library – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Volunteer Appreciation Event at Salida Library – 2 p.m to 3 p.m.
Wednesday, April 18
Empire Library – 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit the Stanislaus County Library’s website to discover what other events are planned for April.
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The 2011-2012 Tax Filing Season Has Begun
Taxpayers across the nation will have until Tuesday, April 17, 2012, to file their 2011 state and federal income tax returns and pay any taxes due. Taxpayers have extra time because April 15 falls on Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a holiday in the District of Columbia, is observed the following day on Monday, April 16. By law, filing deadlines that fall on D.C. holidays are extended to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday.
The April 17 deadline applies to any return or payment normally due on April 15. It also applies to the deadline for requesting a tax-filing extension and for making 2011 IRA contributions. Legislation, enacted in December 2010, extended several popular tax benefits, including the American opportunity credit for parents and students, the enhanced child tax credit, and the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit. Details on these and many other deductions and credits are in Publication 17
. A short list of federal changes to income tax laws can be found here
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March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Memorial Park, Kingsburg, 12pm
March 23 – Fresno County Farm and Nutrition Day, Fresno Fairgrounds, 8:30am
March 24 – Mariposa County Farm Bureau Pork Rib Dinner, Stagg Hall, 2884 Bear Valley Road, Hornitos, 4pm, Tickets may be purchased by calling (209) 742-5875 or at the door.
March 27 – Right-of-Way Education Meeting, Madera Farm Bureau, 1102 South Pine Street, 12pm, RSVP to (559)674-8871
March 30 – Wake Up Clovis with Sheriff Margaret Mims, Hilton Garden Inn, Clovis, 8 am, RSVP here
April 4 – Public Health Week Community Leadership Breakfast, Robert Cabral Agricultural Center, 2101 E. Earhart Ave, Stockton, 7:30am
April 4 – Mayor’s Youth Job Fair, Manchester Center Mall, 1901 E. Shields Ave, Fresno, 10 am, More information available here.
April 14 – Spring Blossom Festival, Shinzen Japanese Garden, Fresno, 10am
April 14 and 15 – Big Hat Days Craft Show, Old Town Clovis
April 21 and 22 – Las Mariposas Civil War Days, Longs’ Mariposa Ranch, Mariposa, www.thecivilwardays.com
April 26-29 – 98th Annual Clovis Rodeo, Information available at www.clovisrodeo.com
– Madera Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament, Madera Golf & Country Club, Register here
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