In summary

A collection of commentaries by Dan Walters over the past week.

Pension benefits hinge on state Supreme Court case

Cases pending before the state Supreme Court could have a huge impact on the pensions of public employees. They specifically involve challenges to a mild pension reform sponsored by Gov. Jerry Brown but could result in a broader ruling that would open the door to pension benefit reductions.

Harassment case tarnishes Sen. Kamala Harris

One of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’ top aides resigned after the Sacramento Bee reported the secret settlement on a harassment suit against him, but incredibly, Harris professes ignorance about the suit or the settlement.

Time ripens for much-needed school data system

California lacks a comprehensive data system to track how well its K-12 students are learning, but that may change with Gavin Newsom’s succession to the governorship.

Rethinking California’s electric utilities

With the state’s big, investor-owned electric utilities on the hot seat for wildfire damages, maybe it’s time to consider making them into fully public entities.

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Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times...