CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2013 |
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said that he has asked the city's three pension funds to review all investments and work to end those in companies that manufacture assault weapons. Invoking the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 27 dead in Newtown, Conn., last month, Villaraigosa on Wednesday said it was inappropriate for the city to make money off of weapons manufacturers. "It's a moral and financial imperative to end our relationship with these companies," said the mayor, who added that it was unclear how much pension money was invested in weapons makers.
January 14, 2013 |
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday he was requesting all of his city's pension funds to divest their investments in gun manufacturers, becoming the latest public official to use the purse as a weapon in the growing battle against gun violence. Speaking in Washington on the one-month anniversary of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Emanuel's comments come as a task force led by Vice President Joe Biden prepares to issue its recommendations on gun control. The mayor also spoke as local officials, notably New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and governors in New York and Maryland, have stepped up their efforts to curb the spread of some types of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
January 9, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- Acting on a request from the state treasurer, the board of the state teachers pension fund has begun the process of selling its holdings in some gun and ammunition-clip manufacturers. Treasurer Bill Lockyer's motion was approved unanimously Wednesday by the Investment Committee of the $154-billion California State Teachers' Retirement System. Lockyer brought the issue to the board in response to December's mass shooting of 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.
December 26, 2012 |
In the last year, Prudential Financial Inc. has plowed money into lemons and avocados in Ventura County, almonds and mandarins in the Central Valley and strawberries in Santa Cruz County. The insurance giant is just one of many players, including highly specialized investors and large pension funds, that have snapped up California farmland recently. The buying spree has helped push farm and ranch land values to record highs, raising questions about how long the boom might last and what effect it might have on the state's important agricultural sector.
December 17, 2012 |
California Treasurer Bill Lockyer may order two giant state pension funds to strip their portfolios of any investments in gun makers after the shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut. He has asked that both the California State Teachers' Retirement System and the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's two biggest pension funds, provide an accounting of all such holdings. Lockyer is particularly concerned about investments in the makers of certain military-style assault weapons, which are banned in the state.
September 23, 2012 |
There are a couple of assumptions guiding much of the civic conversation about public employee pension reform: first, that organized labor would fight any reform tooth and nail; and second, that labor's strong presence in Los Angeles would doom such measures to defeat. I'm starting to doubt both of those assumptions, having talked at length to former Mayor Richard Riordan about some of his ideas for dramatically altering city pensions. Riordan is gearing up to put a pension reform proposal before L.A. voters.
September 1, 2012 |
Wall Street investors aren't the only ones feeling the sting of Facebook Inc.'s falling stock: So are some of the country's troubled government pension funds. Public employee retirement funds from around the country took part in the Menlo Park, Calif., social networking juggernaut's May 18 initial public offering and plowed millions of dollars into Facebook stock before its value plunged. Facebook shares continued their decline Friday, falling $1.03, or 5.4%, to a record low of $18.06, or less than half their $38 offering price.
August 29, 2012
Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled the outlines of a public employee pension reform bill Tuesday that's a step back in some notable ways from the 12-point plan he laid out last October. The measure, which top Democrats will try to rush through the Legislature this week, would do nothing about rapidly rising retiree healthcare costs, and it abandons Brown's proposal to restructure retirement pay for new employees. Yet it would still make badly needed changes to shore up pension funds, help cities struggling with outsize costs and curb abuses in the system.
July 17, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO -- Corporate and public pension funds across the country are seriously underfunded, threatening the retirement security of workers and straining the already tapped finances of state and local governments, according to a pair of independent studies. A report released by the S&P Dow Jones Indices on Tuesday spotlighted record high shortfalls in corporate funds needed to pay for pensions and related post-employment benefits. Companies were underfunded by an estimated $578 billion, meaning they had only 70.5% of the money needed to meet retirement obligations, the report said.
July 17, 2012 |
The nation's two biggest public pension funds reported meager returns for the last fiscal year, raising the prospects that state and local governments and school districts may have to contribute more toward their workers' retirements. The California Public Employees' Retirement System posted a 1% return on its investments for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The smaller California State Teachers' Retirement System reported a 1.8% annual return. CalPERS' performance, announced Monday during a board meeting, missed the fund's self-imposed benchmark of 1.7% growth for its $234.3-billion portfolio, Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dear said.