MOORLACH UPDATE — Voted Down — April 25, 2017

Senate Bill 247, repealing and reducing unnecessary occupational licensing laws for several professions, was voted down in the Senate Business Professions and Economic Development Committee yesterday morning (see MOORLACH UPDATE — There Ought Not Be A Law — April 23, 2017 april 23, 2017 john moorlach).

Senate Bill 454, proposing a structured method to addressing California’s $76.6 billion unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) for retiree medical, was voted down in the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee yesterday afternoon. The bill took a similar approach to what I was able to assist in negotiating at the County of Orange. Those efforts reduced the County’s UAAL, thanks to the agreement of the bargaining units, by 71 percent, or $1 billion! If the state and its Governor was willing to do the same, it could reduce its UAAL by $50 billion!!

Senate Bill 681, providing a fair and just methodology for allowing plan sponsors to leave CalPERS, was heard by the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee. At the conclusion of the debate, I requested the Chair of this committee to allow me to make this a two-year bill. The Chair kindly agreed. Now, we need to work with CalPERS to make them realize that there are more equitable ways to provide fiscal solutions to municipalities that are in financial distress.

Senate Bill 32, which proposed reintroducing the provisions that were kicked out of Governor Brown’s PEPRA efforts, plus an idea that I’ve wanted to do since being a County Supervisor. That suggestion is to have retirees defer cost of living adjustments until the plan is fully funded. It takes a team to fix underfunded defined benefit pension plans. The Sacramento Bee provides the results of this discussion in the first piece below.

Having a turn around strategy referred to as anti-woman was a new twist. Senator Leyva was quick to clarify that this did not reflect on me, but she insisted that the data shows that the majority of school teachers are female. This has nothing to do with financial viability, but it sure was a unique curve ball. My sister-in-law, who served the Santa Ana Unified School District with distinction, knows that it is a statistic and not an attitude. It’s unfortunate that the supposed CalSTRS reforms from 2014, which were also necessary, and have increased the costs to teachers, has resulted in having school districts that are panicking.

The joys of trying to fix a state that hasn’t even come close to the first step in the twelve-step process.

Senate Bill 677 is addressed in the second piece below in the OC Register, which will be heard this afternoon in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The appointment confirmation vote for former State Senator Isadore Hall finds a strong editorial piece in the Canada Free Press, which is the third and final piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Cronyism — April 21, 2017 april 21, 2017 john moorlach).

The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Unions kill bill to cut cost-of-living increases for CalPERS pensions
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Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, submitted a bill that would temporarily nix cost-of-living adjustments that CalPERS and CalSTRS retirees receive. Photo courtesy of Sen. Moorlach

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Public employee unions presented a united front on Monday against a bill by Sen. John Moorlach that aimed to close California’s pension funding gap by eliminating cost-of-living increases and asking local governments to chip in a greater share of their revenue toward retirements.

Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, shaped his Senate Bill 32 using the language of climate change laws the Legislature adopted to set goals for the reduction of greenhouse gasses. Last year’s SB 32, for instance, sought to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels between now and 2030.

Moorlach’s pension bill similarly would demand that CalPERS and CalSTRS reduce their unfunded liability to 1980 levels by 2030. Today, both pension systems have about 64 percent of the assets they’d need to pay all of the benefits they owe.

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“The unfunded liabilities are killing us. The math is brutal,” said Dan Pellissier, president of an advocacy group called California Pension Reform.

Moorlach’s bill would have temporarily banned cost-of-living increases that pensioners receive, required local governments to increase their pension contribution rates by 10 percent and compelled public employers to offer 401(k) style defined contribution plans to supplement pensions.

The bill failed by a 3-2 vote in the Senate’s Public Employment and Retirement Committee after a parade of union representatives voiced opposition to it.

“This is really an attack on women,” said Jennifer Baker, a lobbyist for the California Teachers Association. She noted that some 72 percent of the state’s retired teachers are women.

She continued, “This is not going to incentivize more people to want to become teachers.”

Baker’s argument resonated with Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, whose mother receives a pension worth about $22,000 a year.

“I really worry that we are always trying to balance the pension funding problem on the backs of the lowest paid worker,” Leyva said.

“We just have to be very thoughtful and I’m afraid that for me this doesn’t get me where I need to be,” she said.

Adam Ashton: 916-321-1063, @Adam_Ashton. Sign up for state worker news alerts at

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Videotape of OCC teacher’s anti-Trump comments spurs proposed whistleblower law

State Sen. John Moorlach, pictured here in 2012, wants a new law that would protect college and university students recording in classrooms if they believe a law or a regulation is being violated.


Inspired by the Trump-related controversy that dogged Orange Coast College, state Sen. John Moorlach has introduced legislation that would protect student whistle blowers who record instructors they suspect are breaking a law or rule.

An existing law prohibits students from recording in a community college classroom without an instructor’s permission. Under Moorlach’s proposal, students at those campuses and at universities could record if they “reasonably believed” they are capturing a violation of local, state or federal law or regulation.

Moorlach’s bill, scheduled to be heard in the Senate’s Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, April 25, would also ensure that the student could testify about any violation without retaliation.

“There has to be some ability to provide whistleblower safeguards like we have in the workplace,” said Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. “What kind of workplace-type protections do we have for kids in the classroom so they are not retaliated against? We couldn’t find any.”

The bill was inspired by an incident at Orange Coast College, where administrators earlier this year suspended a student for secretly recording an instructor as she strongly criticized Donald Trump and cast his election as an assault on the country.

The college’s district rescinded the suspension and other sanctions after an onslaught of criticism from Republican leaders and others.

Unions that represent teachers and professors slammed Moorlach’s proposal.

“I call this the ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ bill,” said Jeffrey Freitas, secretary-treasurer of the California Federation of Teachers, one of four unions that penned an April 18 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing the bill.

“This measure would contribute to a chilling effect on free speech in the classroom, and would lead to a hostile learning environment where anyone could be subject to harassment, or blackmail for their beliefs,” wrote legislative advocates for the California Federation of Teachers, the California Faculty Association, the California Teachers Association and the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

Rob Schneiderman, president of the union that represents faculty at OCC, said of the bill: “This is part of a larger movement by the right-wing extremists to intimidate college and university faculty.”

But Moorlach’s bill, Schneiderman said, would likely not have made a difference in the local case that became fodder for conservative pundits nationwide when video clips were posted to social media last December.

The human sexuality teacher who was recorded making anti-Trump comments was not accused of violating any laws. And when the Coast Community College District sanctioned the student, it cited the district’s Student Code of Conduct against unauthorized recordings, not the state law that bars unauthorized recordings.

Joshua Recalde-Martinez, a leader with the OCC College Republicans, welcomed Moorlach’s bill.

“I think it’s absolutely necessary for students to have the same whistleblower-protection rights as so many other people have,” Recalde-Martinez said. “The best way to deal with a ‘he said, she said,’ is to have tangible evidence.”

The OCC incident, Moorlach said in a letter to constituents last week, “should be used as a learning experience. …We spend significant sums of money on our children’s education not to have our students threatened, intimidated, harassed or otherwise mistreated.”

Senate Democrats Have No Clothes (Or Ethics), With ALRB Confirmation

Senate Democrats have no clothes, nor the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior

Katy Grimes image

By Katy Grimes

Democrats in the State Senate Thursday confirmed former Sen. Isadore Hall (D-Compton) to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board on a party line vote.

You’ll recall Hall’s recent “obscenity-laced tirade” and threats to use his position to ‘get’ several farmers who opposed his confirmation:

“Are you the mother******s here to testify against me tomorrow?” Hall then allegedly said, “I have a memory and I am going to get you,” delivering a threat.

My sources said Hall dropped the mother*****r F-bomb numerous times in a hair-raising, threatening tone to the farmers.

Despite this egregious, unprofessional and likely unlawful behavior, Democrats made it clear during Senate debate they saw nothing wrong with Hall’s behavior and in fact, sang Hall’s praises during floor debate. And that’s the problem with these Democrats; they don’t see that Sen. Isadore Hall threatening private citizens is a violation of the Senate Standards of Conduct, and likely against the law. California Penal Code Section 422—California’s law on criminal threats, makes it clear that it is prosecutable if you intended that your statement be understood as a threat, the threat was so clear, immediate, unconditional, and specific that it communicated to the person being threatened a serious intention and the immediate prospect that the threat would be carried out; the threat actually caused the person to be in sustained fear for his/her own safety or for the safety of his/her immediate family; the threatened person’s fear was reasonable under the circumstances.

A letter to Sen. President pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) from Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) spelled out the appalling episode, and demanded an investigation. But alas, Vidak said Thursday, “the pro Tem has done zero, zilch, nada.”

The Democrats Have No Clothes

Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a tale about a situation in which people fear to point out an obvious truth that most everyone else seems to think is good or important.

In the tale, a vain Emperor who cares nothing about governing, and only about wearing and displaying fancy clothes, hires two weavers who promise him the finest suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position, incompetent, or “hopelessly stupid”.

The Emperor’s ministers cannot see his new suit of clothes themselves, but pretend that they can out of fear of appearing unfit for their positions, as does the Emperor. Finally, the weavers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him, and the Emperor marches in procession before all of his subjects—buck naked. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit or hopelessly stupid. However, a child in the crowd too young to understand the absurdity of keeping up the pretense, blurts out, “But he hasn’t got anything on.” And the obvious is finally voiced by the other townspeople, as well. “But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

This tale embodies Democrats in the California Legislature, never wanting to appear unfit for their positions, incompetent, or hopelessly stupid.

What Bias?

Attorney Anthony Raimondo, who represents many of the Gerawan Farming workers who have been fighting the ALRB for years, and don’t want to be forced into the United Farm Workers labor union,challenged the members of the Senate Rules Committee during Hall’s hearing, on whether Hall had the capability to avoid the appearance of bias when he marched with the UFW, and was photographed waving the UFW flag, and embracing UFW President Arturo Rodriguez. “Can you assure them (the workers) they should believe cases will be heard impartially by Mr. Hall at the ALRB?” Raimondo asked.

The Senate President Has No Clothes

Describing Sen. Isadore Hall as “fair minded,” Sen. President pro Tem Kevin de León insisted that an investigation had been done, claimed that he had “reached out to farmers and growers,” and all was well with the world and Hall’s pending confirmation. Yet, the farmers present for Hall’s obscenity-laced tirade did not speak out and report this episode the very next morning at Hall’s confirmation hearing to de León, who is the committee chairman. It would have been the perfect opportunity to get the skunk on the table, and describe Hall’s outrageous thug behavior.

“He’s said he can listen to both sides to make fair decisions,” Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said. She added that those opposed to Sen. Hall’s confirmation to the ALRB were “people unfamiliar with Senator Hall.”

“I know him to be a highly qualified individual for this post,” Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) said. And then he accused all opposed to Hall’s confirmation as “racially motivated,” as Hall is black.

Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), said the incident in which Sen. Hall threatened the farmers “was out of this body in a restaurant bar with adults,” and what Senators do on their own time has nothing to do with his confirmation. De León jumped on this line of justification and added, “It’s not our practice to review or envision bar room conversations. It’s just not what we do here.”

Sen. Hall, the Qualified Thug

This isn’t Hall’s first foray into thuggary.

In June, then-Sen. Isadore Hall insulted and provoked opponents of numerous gun-control bills during committee hearings. “These crazy, vicious, heartless individuals, who come here and defend the senseless act of terror… They are protecting the vicious murderers,” Sen. Hall said, directing his comments to Daniel Reid with the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, and Sam Paredes with Gun Owners of California, who opposed Hall’s gun control bills. “They care more about the ability to hold a weapon in their hands,” Hall added. “They need to wash their mouths because they are filthy,” when they testified that Hall’s bills would not save lives.

Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) said he looked up the word “cronyism” and felt it applied in the case of Sen. Hall’s appointment and confirmation to the agricultural labor board: “the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications.” Moorlach nailed it. California’s boards and commissions are merely where termed-out legislators go when they need a paycheck while they plot their next campaign, as is the case of Isadore Hall. Isadore Hall lost his 2016 race for the congressional seat vacated by Rep. Janice Hahn, to Nanette Diaz Barragan. Since Hall plans to run again for the seat, he may want to study up on the House of Representatives Code of Official Conduct.

Yet because Hall promised to tackle ALRB issues in an “inclusive, methodical and transparent way,” and to be “a voice for working families and for business,” Democrats ignored the pleas from Republican colleagues to investigate the matter(s), even with the idea of clearing Hall’s name.

In “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the king is so arrogant and infatuated with himself that when his cronies tell him he’s doing good he believes it, even when he knows it isn’t true. The tailor told the emperor and everyone else that only intelligent and refined people could see the cloth, while it would be invisible to stupid, cloddish people. When no adult would speak the obvious that the king was naked, they weren’t sucking up to the king; they were afraid to show themselves as hopelessly stupid. It was their arrogance and smugness that made them lie.

And it was their arrogance and smugness that made Democrats vote for Isadore Hall, even when they all know he behaved like a thug, and will work against the rights of farm workers and growers who do not want to be unionized. Senate Democrats have no clothes, nor the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior.


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