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.”
According to census figures, the U.S. has over 91,000 state and local governments. The vast majority of these institutions produce documents that affect the citizens they serve. While many individual governments offer document repositories and diligently respond to public records requests, disclosure is inconsistent and not standardized. This poses challenges for researchers who wish to compare multiple governments.
California Common Sense (CACS), a think tank focused on data-driven policy analysis, encountered this problem and has devised an interesting solution. CACS is collecting a large number of local government documents, storing the documents on the cloud and making them available to other researchers. The group is also encouraging governments, researchers and citizens to contribute additional documents for hosting on the CACS cloud.