Greg Devereux, Executive Director of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), recently revealed he, and other union executives, believe the era of forced unionism for public sector workers is coming to an end. And surprisingly, he doesn’t think it will be the union-crippling catastrophe unions have long-claimed.
Paying for the costs of prosecuting a big criminal case can drain the budget of a small county, and records show the state has little to offer in the way of help. The cost of prosecuting Christopher Monfort — who was convicted of killing Seattle police Officer Tim Brenton, firebombing police vehicles and trying to kill other officers in 2009 — had reached $5 million by the end of 2014. When his trial costs are totaled, that number will rise dramatically, officials said.
The gap between the benefits promised and funding available to state retirement systems rose by about 6 percent to $968 billion in 2013, the latest year for which data is available. That number is likely skewed a little high because it’s weighed down by losses from the Great Recession and hasn’t yet factored in some of the gains from the recovery. But even those gains will do little to offset that shortfall.