Pension Reform? A group of California mayors filed a statewide ballot initiative this week that could make it easier for state and local government agencies to alter workers' pension benefits. The Pension Reform Act of 2014 would amend the California Constitution to give government agencies clear authority to negotiate changes to existing employees’ pension or retiree healthcare benefits. The changes wouldn't affect benefits an employee has already earned. But firefighters, school employees and police officers say the initiative would give public employers the power to unilaterally cut retirement benefits to workers who would make an average pension of $26,000 a year. The mayors behind the initiative say rising pension costs are crippling cities' ability to provide public services like libraries and road construction. We're speaking with initiative backer Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Kampe and opponent Steve Loza about the potential pension reform.
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Capitol Chat Capital Public Radio's Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler joins us for this week's Capitol Chat to update us on how California's finances are doing in the wake of the federal government shutdown. We'll also learn about a California prison ruling this week and get analysis on the latest effort to reform pensions.
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Violinist Ji in Yang South Korean violinist Ji in Yang has been playing music since she was six years old. As a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, she has appeared internationally in London's Cadogan Hall, the Salle Gaveau in Paris and the Seoul Arts Center. Her music has also been featured on NPR's "From the Top." Yang is currently in the Sacramento area visiting schools and teaching students about music. She'll be performing two shows with the Auburn Symphony this Saturday and Sunday. But, before that, she joins us for an interview and a performance from Sacramento State's music hall.