NEWS: September 21, 2010
Public Workforce | Illinois
Governor Catching Political Flak
over No-Layoff Deal with AFSCME
Gov. Pat Quinn is coming under criticism for reaching a deal with the state's largest employee union just days after the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees endorsed him in the fall election. AFSCME agreed to find at least $120 million in savings; in return, workers would not face layoffs until June 2012.
California Retirement Law Was Enforced on Some
An obscure California law requiring many state employees to retire at age 65 was enforced by at least one department long before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration declared it discriminatory last Friday and ordered officials not to enforce it.
Technology | The Nation
FCC to Boost Broadband for Schools, Libraries
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to approve an overhaul of the $2.25 billion E-Rate program, which subsidizes Internet service for schools and public libraries, to give schools more options for faster Internet service, allow for community Internet service and begin pilot programs for digital textbooks.
New York Times
Plug Pulled on Justice Department System
The Obama administration is eliminating a troubled Justice Department litigation case-management system, saving $193 million, and overhauling an Interior Department security project as part of its continuing review of some 30 IT initiatives.
Cities' Bill-Payment Option: Bling It
Bling Nation allows smartphone users to pay instantly with one swipe at participating stores and other locations. Now a few municipalities are offering the service as another method for residents to pay their utility bills and parking tickets.
Public Pensions | California
CalPERS Doled Out Big Bonuses
as Investments Tanked
As its investment portfolio was losing nearly a quarter of its value, the California Public Employees' Retirement System awarded six-figure bonuses and substantial raises. Virtually all of CalPERS' investment managers were awarded bonuses of more than $10,000 each during the 2008-09 fiscal year, with several earning bonuses of more than $100,000.
Contracting | The Nation
Critics: Federal Insourcing a Costly Mistake
The Obama administration's insourcing agenda is costing taxpayers millions of dollars and hurting private-sector job growth, panelists at a conservative think tank forum said. More than 16,500 new civilian positions have been established across the Defense Department as a result of insourcing.
Privatization Coming for Dallas Paratransit Service
Hoping to save millions of dollars annually, Dallas Area Rapid Transit is poised to privatize its heavily used paratransit service, using taxicabs, limousines and other contractors.
Dallas Morning News
Public Officials | Calumet County, Wis.
Governor Vows to Oust D.A.
Detailing what he called "unimaginable" new allegations against District Attorney Kenneth R. Kratz, Gov. Jim Doyle said he will begin the process of removing the prosecutor from office. Kratz has been under intense pressure to resign since it was revealed that he sent sexually suggestive text messages to a domestic-violence victim.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Audit: Public Funds Paid Off Bell Manager's Loans
Apparently acting without city council approval, Bell, Calif., spent nearly $95,000 to repay loans that then-City Manager Robert Rizzo made to himself from his retirement accounts, a state audit says.
Los Angeles Times
Taxation | Washington State
Dot-Com Moguls Fighting Proposed Tax on Rich
Two of the state's richest men, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos, have lined up against an initiative that would create a state income tax on the wealthiest earners, contributing $100,000 each to the campaign to defeat the measure.
Unions Fight Push to Cut Massachusetts Sales Tax
Massachusetts labor unions--fearing mass layoffs of teachers, firefighters and other state and municipal workers--are pouring money into an effort to fight a deep cut in the state sales tax.
Homeland Security | The Nation
FBI Targeted Advocacy Groups after 9/11
FBI agents improperly opened investigations into Greenpeace and several other domestic advocacy groups after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and put the names of some of their members on terrorist watch lists based on evidence that turned out to be "factually weak," the Justice Department said.
Los Angeles Times
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ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY
Finance | Richard Riordan
and Alexander Rubalcava
How to Save
Public pensions at the state and local level are underfunded by more than $1 trillion. Part of the problem is that the funds need significant new financing to cover the growing number of retirees. But the real issue is the lack of incentive to improve pension performance. What we need is a federal program that combines stimulus with serious fund reform.
New York Times
“We believe! Pigs Can Fly!”
Sign in the office of Robyn Bowling, principal of an elementary school in Irving, Texas, where 89 percent of the children are classified as disadvantaged and 63 percent as limited in English proficiency but which achieved an "exemplary" rating by exceeding a 90 percent passing rate on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
Dallas Morning News | More quotes
More than 32,800
Number of military veterans hired by the federal government during the first half of fiscal 2010, 2,600 more than were hired during the same period in fiscal 2009, according to the Office of Personnel Management
Federal Times | More data
Government Executive magazine
Webinar on Defense IT
Today | Washington, D.C.
Government Technology magazine
Government Technology Conference/East
Sept. 22-23 | Albany, N.Y.
Annual Leadership Conference
Sept. 24-25 | Anaheim, Calif.
National Association of State Chief Information Officers
Sept. 26-29 | Miami
Harvard Kennedy School
Online Program on Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Management
Sept. 27-Nov. 19
Center for Governmental Research
Conference on Ensuring Effective Educators: Revolutionary Work
Sept. 28, 8 a.m. ET | Rochester, N.Y.
American Society for Training and Development
Conference on "Telling Ain't Training"
Sept. 28-29 | Denver
Webinar on Transforming Your Government Agency with Collaboration
Sept. 29, 2 p.m. ET
Full events listings