San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo released his proposed 2017-18 budget earlier this spring. Now it’s time for residents to give their thoughts.
After 11 years of shortfalls and $2 billion of gap-closing, Santa Clara County plans to adopt a budget that maintains services and even restores some debilitating cuts. The Board of Supervisors will spend four days this week hammering out last-minute details of the $4.6 billion 2013-14 budget, which must balance a $67 million shortfall.
Unfunded retiree healthcare benefits threaten to take a $1.7 billion bite out of the Santa Clara County budget, a drastic uptick from the $425 million liability seen a decade ago. This and other matters will be on the Board of Supervisors agenda for a three-day budget workshop starting Tuesday next week.
UPDATE: The city of San Jose came to an agreement on tier-2 retirement benefits with the POlice Officers Association on Thursday afternoon, avoiding Friday’s arbitration hearing.
San Jose faces a $2.9 billion unfunded liability in pension and retiree healthcare costs. The figure is mind-boggling. The city still has to figure out how to afford those unfunded obligations. But that’s another story for another time. On Friday morning, the public—for the first time—will have a chance to sit in on arbitration hearings that have been held previously behind closed doors, when the city negotiators sits across the table from San Jose’s police union.
Independent actuarial firm Harvey Rose sent a disturbing report to county Supervisor Joe Simitian this month, detailing how Santa Clara County now finds itself with a $1.68 billion unfunded liability to cover its retirees’ health care benefits.