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  • Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press file, 2011

    Tony Strickland, a former Republican state senator, plans to run in 2014 against Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, in the 26th Congressional District. Strickland lost to Brownley last November.

  • Scott Lay

The Buzz: California state employee retirements rise in the first quarter

Published: Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

State worker retirements climb in first quarter

California state employee retirements rose nearly 8 percent for the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2012, according to the latest data from CalPERS.

The 3,576 retirement applications were just below the number made during the record-setting period of January to March in 2011.

The increase indicates that California's aging state employees are retiring in greater numbers, a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future, said Elizabeth Kellar, president of the Center for State and Local Government.

"This isn't unexpected," Kellar said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Furloughs and labor unrest in 2010 and 2011 likely pushed many state workers to leave a little sooner, Kellar said, which is why the retirement numbers spiked to record highs for those two years before they fell in 2012.

"But now we're entering a more normal environment in terms of the way people make decisions," Kellar said, so California's retirement rate has returned to the gradual increase, which demographers predicted years ago, as baby boomers take their pensions.

CalPERS counts applications from mid-month to mid-month, so the first-quarter data includes the second half of December.

– Jon Ortiz

CAMPAIGN WATCH

Former GOP legislator Tony Strickland is readying a second run against Democrat Julia Brownley for a House seat. Former Assembly member Brownley defeated Strickland by more than five percentage points in the south state's 26th Congressional District last November. The race was a top target, attracting more than $5 million in spending by outside groups.

– Torey Van Oot

WORTH REPEATING

"The lesson is don't stop after the first paragraph."

SCOTT LAY, president of the Community College League of California and publisher of the Nooner email newsletter, talking to the Los Angeles Times about his April Fools' Day story about a fake court decision on redistricting, which sent many worried – or elated – Capitol denizens to their smartphones and inboxes

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