California bond sale refinances more than $1 billion

State Treasurer John Chiang today announced successfully completing the sale of $1.9 billion in State general obligation bonds, which included the refinancing of more than $1 billion in previously-issued bonds.

“Despite investors’ concerns over future interest rates, this week’s sale showed a healthy appetite for California paper,” Chiang said. “Recent credit upgrades have increased the market’s confidence in the State’s credit worthiness and individual and institutional investors alike eagerly got behind California.”

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California’s public unions have too much clout and compensation

Mayor Eric Garcetti, a pro-labor Democrat, has tried to restore ties with Los Angeles’ public employee unions after most of them backed his opponent in the 2013 mayoral race. Nevertheless, the mayor is sticking with the hard line he has taken in contract talks: asking city workers to accept a three-year wage freeze, pay 10% of their healthcare premiums (many currently pay nothing) and accept a higher retirement age.

Garcetti has joined a growing list of Democratic mayors who have locked horns with their cities’ unions. This reflects a fissure at the heart of the urban Democratic coalition. Until the recession, public employee unions were its most powerful component. Since then, however, exploding compensation costs, especially pensions and healthcare, have forced some Democratic politicians to recalculate that alliance.

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Today’s Debt Is Tomorrow’s Burden in Some School Districts

School districts in San Diego County and across California that use capital appreciation bonds saddle future generations with debt, sometimes at double-digit debt ratios.

Vista Del Mar Elementary is the newest school in the San Ysidro School District, and it is a beauty. Perched atop a hill in the aptly named Ocean View Hills — a relatively new suburb in south San Diego — the school boasts a clear view of the ocean and surrounding community.

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