Culver City Observer -

By Neil Rubenstein
Observer Columnist 

Government Pension Coffers Stretch Even Thinner

 

August 23, 2018



Last July, our state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) reported that from June 2016 to June 2017, the state pension fund (CalSTRS) had its unfunded liabilities increase by almost 11 percent, from $96.7 billion to $107.3 billion.

That’s despite school districts (statewide) increasing their contributions over 70 percent, from $5.9 billion in 2013-14 to $10.1 billion in 2016-2017. According to an LAO analysis from last February, we haven’t even seen the last of these contribution increases: CalSTRS contributions will be over $15 billion by 2020-21.

If right, that will come to more than a 250 percent increase in our local District’s contribution since 2013-2014.

After scores of legislative can-kicking, are our state reps now asking taxpayers to pay-off the state’s long-term unfunded pension liabilities too quickly—at a rate that is going to cut even further into our local ability to give our children the education that they deserve?

Is this a path we really want to continue to go down?

Council to Debate New Housing

The Culver City Council plans to have a meeting on Aug. 27 regarding their proposed sites for new housing projects. The proposal is for three developments.

I don't know where they would be located. However, there is a great possibility that Fox Hills could be included in these plans.

Plan to attend the meeting at City Hall, or watch it on TV or on the internet.

Financial Woes still Loom over School District

The fiscal health of California school districts has improved significantly from this time last year, when pension uncertainty forced 41 local education agencies to officially warn that they might be in trouble.

Thanks to a booming economy and a fully funded share of state revenues provided in next year’s budget, just 25 Local Education Agencies (LEAs) submitted a “qualified” fiscal report to the state--which is a formal recognition that the district might not be able to cover all of its financial obligations over the next three years.

After years of continued deficit spending, our School Board shares the infamous distinction of being one of only 25 LEAs in the entire state to submit a budget with the scary "qualified" certification.

In Closing

It was 67 years ago that the first commercial color TV program, “Premiere,” was aired. The hour-long variety show was hosted by Arthur Godfrey.

This commentary does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Observer. Previous columns by Neil Rubenstein can be found at http://www.culvercityobserver.com.

 

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