Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Bill to Cut Benefits of Felonious Public Employees Fails in Committee. Did Union Bucks Play a Role?
Earlier this month, the California State Senate Committee on Public Employment and Retirement failed to approve a proposal to cut off pension benefits to any public employee convicted of a felony arising out of his or her professional duties. Two Republicans backed the bill; three Democrats did not vote. If one Democrat would have voted for it, the committee would have approved the bill, according to MapLight, a public interest group that tracks special interest money. The groups that opposed the bill (police and firefighters unions and associations, state and local government employee unions, teachers unions, etc.) gave $91,850 on average to the Democrats on the committee, more than six times the $14,338 these groups gave on average to the committee Republicans, according to MapLight.