California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his 12-plan pension reform this morning and hopes voters approve the reforms in November 2012.
Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a 12-point public pension reform plan this morning that would ask voters to increase the age at which future state and local government employees could retire with full benefits and place them in riskier retirement plans than current workers.
Speaking to reporters this morning, Brown said he wants all of his proposals to go before voters on the November 2012 ballot.
“It saves a lot of money,” Brown said. “This program is a very decisive step forward…We’ll have to contend with unfunded liabilities as we move forward.”
The plan would also impact current and future workers by mandating employers and employees equally share the cost of pension contributions. Currently, most employers pick up the majority or all of those costs.
Reaction to Brown’s plan came swiftly.
Convincing the Democratic-controlled Legislature to place his package on the ballot is a substantial hurdle, Brown acknowledged.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Brown’s plan is a “provocative” one on which he would keep an open mind.
“The abuses that a small number of people take advantage of absolutely must be resolved,” Steinberg said in a statement. “But we can’t forget that the vast majority of public sector employees are middle class workers and their average pensions are far from exorbitant….
Assembly Speaker John A. Perez said his members would “carefully consider” the proposal, but did he not embrace its contents. “I believe the governor is working hard to solve California’s long term fiscal challenges, and the Assembly will work with him to bring stability to our pension system in a manner that does right by taxpayers and public servants alike,” he said in a statement.
California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro called the proposals a “small step in the right direction,” in a press statement and criticized Brown for deferring most of the savings for many years, since the provisions with the biggest cost impacts won’t be felt for years, since they apply only to future employees.
“California can’t wait 500 years for a solution,” Del Beccaro said.
Here is the plan:
California Big Labor has initially voiced opposition to these sets of requirements. If they oppose this plan, this plan will never make it to the ballot in 2012.