Non-profit to provide policy analysis, data, & fiscal health platform relevant to local & state governments nationwide
In 2014, California Common Sense, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think-tank, found the bankruptcies of San Bernardino, Stockton and Vallejo were fueled partly by the cost of retirement benefits.
UC now must spend about $1.3 billion a year to cover its pension costs — and it will take decades to fill the gap. That draws money away from other uses, said Adam Tatum, until recently the research director of California Common Sense, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank.
In a statement, the five-member PUC called the new system “a more effective and cost-based structure, empowering consumers with more opportunities to conserve, and promoting resource optimization and grid reliability.”
President Michael Picker: “The world has changed since 2001, when rates were frozen by the Legislature. Over time, with lower-tier rates being frozen, the five-tiered rate structure departed increasingly from any cost basis and imposed even greater inequities on large family households that were pushed into higher tiers in hot climate zones. Our decision helps align rates with the actual cost of service.”
The world has changed, all right.
The rich have gotten much, much richer. A report by California Common Sense found that while overall income increased in the Golden State two years after the Great Recession, “The bottom 99 percent’s combined income actually decreased.”
Any savings won’t be realized for decades, however. Until then, stabilizing the fund, and curbing how much it eats into the university’s multibillion-dollar annual operations, will largely depend on whether UC, and the state, remain committed to paying down the current debts.
“Tackling the problem from both ends, it definitely does help the health of the system,” said Adam Tatum, who studies retirement systems for California Common Sense, a policy research organization. “In order for the UC to plan going forward, they need to know to what extent they can depend on the state.”