A coalition led by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed filed an initiative with the AG yesterday to reform public pensions, according to Scott Lay, the publisher of the Nooner, a California Political Newsletter. The initiative is called the “Pension Reform Act of 2014.”
Democrats dominate the list of supporters of this statewide pension initiative – including Chuck Reed of San Jose, Pat Morris of San Bernardino, Miguel Pulido of Santa Ana and Bill Kampe of Pacific Grove. Anaheim’s Republican Mayor Tom Tait joins the list. Three of those cities have been Ground Zero in the pension-reform battle, according to Steven Greenhut at U-T San Diego.
If voters OK the Pension Reform Act of 2014, it would change the state constitution to empower government agencies to negotiate existing employees’ pension and retiree healthcare going forward. The measure would eliminate what’s called the “vested rights” doctrine, a precedent established through decades of court decisions that prevents agencies from slashing pension benefits. Retirement benefits already earned would be protected, according to San Jose Inside.
Representatives of government labor unions blasted the effort, which Reed has been working on for more than a year, as nothing more than an attempt by conservative and corporate interests to punish public employees for financial woes they blame on Wall Street. They argue the public isn’t supportive of reducing the retirement security of cops, firefighters, teachers and other government workers, according to the San Bernardino Sun.