2013 Portents: More attacks on public employees


By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings


Yeah, I know this one is like predicting a sunny day in Phoenix..

Current Arizona Treasurer and rumored 2014 candidate for governor Doug Ducey sent out a press release in late November touting a new study that says that Arizona has underfunded its public employee pension funds by $13 billion. 

The study was put together by the Pew Center for the States, which is part of a "non-profit" organization founded by the children of the founder of Sunoco.  The organization, The Pew Charitable Trusts, was created to support and promulgate "free market" (read: "pro big-business") public policies.  They've toned down the overtness of their position in recent years, but it is basically the Goldwater Institute with even deeper pockets.

Basically, the "study" seems to be intended to provide cover for more GOP attacks on public employees and specifically, in this case, their pensions.

The first salvo in the latest attack is HB2006, introduced by Rep. Michelle Ugenti (R-Date with your Right Hand).

From the measure (blue-colored type indicates that the text is a proposed change to current law) –

Section 1. Section 38-711, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE38-711. Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:


23. "Member":


(g) Does not include any employee of a political subdivision entity who is hired on or after the effective date of this amendment to this section.

Yes, that means that if the proposal becomes law, new public employees in Arizona at any level, who are paid out of state funds,  won't be eligible for a pension.
I don't think that this will impact public safety employees or elected officials (of course).
Public safety employees and elected officials have their own pension systems (PSPRS and EORP, respectively) and this measure doesn't impact those folks.
New teachers and any other new public employees are screwed if this passes, though.
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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.