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"Overhaul of California government payroll system at risk of collapse"

As Gomer Pyle might have said, "Soooo-prize, soooo-prize!"

One of the state's biggest technology endeavors, a $371-million overhaul of the government payroll system, is beset with problems and "in danger of collapsing," according to the state controller's office.

The company hired for the project is in over its head and may be unable to deliver on its promise to update a payroll system so old that even simple salary adjustments can tie it in knots, the controller's chief administrative officer said in a letter.

The state has spent at least $254 million so far on contractors, staff salaries, software and more for the system upgrade, which is five years overdue and has nearly tripled in cost since lawmakers authorized it in 2005.

Bonus: Joel Kotkin calls out Cali politicans like an Old Testament prophet:

This has set the stage for a bizarre political farce, where minority representatives in Sacramento – with few exceptions – consistently vote against the interests of their own constituents on issues such as water allocations in the Central Valley or regulations that boost energy and housing prices. In their clamor to join the "progressive" team, they, in effect, are placing the California "dream" outside the reach of the state's heavily minority working class.

It's almost surreal to see people who represent impoverished East Los Angeles and Fresno, for example, vote exactly the same way as those who represent rich, white and older voters in Marin County and Westside Los Angeles. You don't have to watch "Downton Abbey" to see "upstairs, downstairs" politics. Despite mouthing progressive rhetoric, California's minority legislators seem intent of creating an increasingly feudalized California. . . . 

Increasingly, the residual California middle class is either part of the public sector nomenklatura or the swelling ranks of retirees. These people often feel no compulsion to leave California for the reasons – such as weather and high property taxes – that drive their counterparts out of places like New York or Illinois. In contrast, the productive, working-age private middle class, harassed by taxes, regulations and soaring costs, increasingly appears more of an endangered species than the famed Delta smelt.