Local News

CalPERS: On second thought, Yolo, you’re not Bay Area

By From page A4 | April 18, 2014

Yolo County governments won a yearlong battle this week to pay less for health insurance.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System decided on a 9-2 vote Tuesday to move Yolo County from a Bay Area pricing area to the Sacramento pricing region. The move completes Yolo County’s identity as a geographic region that is not in the Bay Area.

Employees of cities, Yolo County and special districts like the Yolo-Solano Air Quality District likely will pay less for their health care starting in January.

Dozens of governmental agencies and commercial enterprises have agreed for decades that Yolo County is not in the Bay Area, including the National Weather Service, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and Sacramento TV stations.

Now, after a long battle, CalPERS is added to that list.

“This action by the PERS board ensures that county employees who live and work in Yolo County, employees who make Sacramento-area wages, pay their fair share for health premiums, not almost $1 million per year more,” said Gina Rowland, a manager with the Yolo County human resources department.

Representatives from Yolo County and the city of West Sacramento, among others, testified in front of the CalPERS about the inequity of long being placed in the Bay Area price region. Rowland was among them.

Exact savings won’t be known until next year.

Bill Madison, a spokesman for CalPERS, said the vote was taken with very little discussion.

“There had been some concerns expressed from the counties involved,” he said, referring to counties in the plural because other counties, like Solano, wanted to be moved as well. All told, the CalPERS board had five alternatives to consider that had been generated by a committee.

On one close vote, Madison said, the board voted against one option of moving Amador, Nevada, San Joaquin, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties into the Sacramento region all at once. Immediately after, another motion to move only Yolo County passed 9-2.

“There really was no discussion,” Madison said. “The board just voted on it.”

— Reach Dave Ryan at [email protected] or call 530-747-8057

Dave Ryan

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