Governor and Legislature still negotiating pension reform
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats in the California Legislature have been meeting to reach an agreement on pension changes, but appear unlikely to reach a deal before lawmakers leave for summer recess this week.
According to press reports, Brown could not agree to pension changes proposed by lawmakers on Sunday but will continue to work over the recess.
"Both the legislative and governor's proposals are deeply flawed and deserve the public scrutiny that the next few weeks will allow,” said CSEA Executive Director Dave Low, who chairs the Californians for Retirement Security (CRS) coalition. “The Legislature should heed the advice of the Legislative Analyst’s Office, which urged lawmakers to take the time to properly scrutinize the governor's proposals and get the details right. We are optimistic that the governor and Legislature can reach agreement on a plan to curb abuses in the pension system without undermining retirement security for millions of Californians."
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement on pension reform progress:
“The Assembly has been working diligently to finalize a pension proposal that not only satisfies the 12 points of the governor’s plan, but also goes further in finding needed reforms that will create real savings, help ensure financially strong and fiscally responsible pension systems in California, and prove fair to taxpayers and retirees. This is a complex issue that requires a thoughtful approach, and we will continue to work with the governor and our colleagues in the Senate to put forward and pass a proposal by the end of the legislative session.”
Low and other CRS leaders are urging state leaders to curb abuses but preserve retirements security for classified and other public employees.
Two harmful pension initiatives stopped
Thanks to the hard work of CSEA members and other public employees, the backers of two harmful pension initiatives suspended their campaign today. The group called California Pension Reform said they would regroup their efforts and try to qualify a ballot measure for 2014.
This is good news for classified employees and a credit to the hard work of CSEA members and other employees, who kept voters focused on the truth about public pensions.
Beginning last spring, CSEA members participated in “truth squads” that immediately countered the distorted rhetoric about public employee pensions. Members also sent letters to the editor of their newspapers to set the record straight. CSEA and our pension coalition, Californians for Retirement Security (CRS) also launched two websites to identify who is really behind the attacks on public employee pensions.
“There is no Armageddon looming for our pension fund and no reason to question the long-term sustainability of CalPERS,” Association President Allan Clark said. “Despite a ruthless campaign by out-of-state billionaires to generate sensational headlines based on faulty assumptions, CalPERS is not bankrupting the state.”
Governor Brown has released his own 12-point pension reform proposal, which includes some much needed reforms as well as some potentially harmful takeaways. Unlike the ballot initiatives, however, this reform package will be taken through the checks and balances of the legislative process, and CSEA and CRS will continue to advocate for sensible, fair reforms that don’t risk the retirement security of classified and other public employees.
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