It’s called the unfunded liability. From 2012 to 2013 it grew by $730 million.
That’s actually less than expected because there have been fewer health care claims and health care inflation was lower than expected.
But State Controller John Chiang says the state should stop covering only the minimum amount needed to fund health care costs as they are due.
Instead, some money should be set aside in a trust solely for future retiree benefits, just like a savings account.
Chiang says the state could save more than $20 billion by pre-funding its obligation.
“Get the benefit of some interest and you will grow your money, same thing for trying to take down the health care obligations for the state of California," says Chiang. "If you can’t make full payment, let’s make some payment and make the tax obligations that are going to be used in the future drop significantly.”
The California Legislature is expected to adjourn its two-year session just past midnight Friday. It's an early end to what has so far been a surprisingly calm final week.
California's Senate passed a bill that would require public institutions of higher education to adopt procedures to prevent campus sexual assault and domestic violence, and to assist victims.
A bill that would require toy guns to be painted with markings to show they are fake has passed the state legislature.
The California Legislature’s “gut-and-amend” process is highly criticized, but lawmakers defend it as necessary.
Sources tell Capital Public Radio that a deal has been reached for legislation that would tighten regulations for ride-sharing companies.