Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Vote set on state-wide retirement savings system

The proposed state retirement savings program is directed toward private sector workers without pensions or 401(k)’s from their employers. This file photos was taken at a McDonald's in Elk Grove.
The proposed state retirement savings program is directed toward private sector workers without pensions or 401(k)’s from their employers. This file photos was taken at a McDonald's in Elk Grove. jvillegas@sacbee.com

In what’s been hailed as a “milestone” vote, a state board is scheduled to weigh in today on a package of recommendations about how to establish a retirement savings system for up to 7.5 million Californians.

The system is designed for private sector workers who don’t receive pensions or 401(k)s from their employers. The proposal could make California a leader for other states that attempt to address the growing number of workers without a nest egg.

The current plan calls for the automatic enrollment of qualified workers, which make up a little more than half of all California employees, according to the The Pew Charitable Trusts. Proposed contributions begin at five percent of a worker’s pay and increase each year by one percent, eventually maxing out at 10 percent. Workers would also be able to opt out of the program.

The anticipated recommendations will be reflected in a bill authored by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, to enact a state-wide system. The board meets at 9 a.m. in room 112 of the Capitol. De León scheduled a press conference at 11:30 a.m. in the same location.

STRIKE UPDATE: In the latest installment of the contract drama engulfing the state university system, the California Faculty Association plans to release a fact-finding report today that serves as the final step before the union can legally launch a strike next month. The union and California State University have been unable to agree on a contract since last May. Last month the faculty association threatened to strike at all 23 CSU campuses if the two sides can’t find common ground by mid-April. Jennifer Eagan, the union president, and others are scheduled to speak at 9 a.m. at Sacramento State University.

TOAST THE ARMENIAN CAUCUS: The Legislature’s one-year-old Armenian Caucus is hosting its annual reception party tonight at Mayahuel, a tequilla bar and restaurant on K Street. Snubbing the eatery’s alcohol of choice, the caucus is bringing its own Armenian brandy to taste, the restaurant said. The caucus launched last year with founding members Assemblymembers Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo), Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks), and Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). The group bills itself as “bi-partisan” and now counts de León and several other lawmakers among its members. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m.

CELEBRATE: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, who turns 56 today.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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