Exploring The Pension Crisis In California Monday, September 19, 2016 | Sacramento, CA Listen / download audio Update RequiredTo play audio, update browser or Flash plugin. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times When California lawmakers cut a deal to increase public employee pensions, the state had a very different economic climate. The dot-com bubble coupled with the housing boom and rising stock markets meant plenty of return on investment for those vested with CalPers. The deal wasn’t supposed to cost taxpayers any extra money, but that changed during the most-recent economic downturn. Now the state’s annual tab is in the billions and the cost just keeps climbing. We’ll talk with LA Times reporter Jack Dolan about the pension gap and what he’s learned about it. This is the beginning of a collaboration on the looming pension crisis in California with the Times, CalMatters and Capital Public Radio.