California Pension Reform Coalition to Focus on 2018 Ballot

Statement from former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio (R) and former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed (D):

After conversations with members of their coalition and key donors, we have decided to re-file at least one of our pension reform measures later this year for the November 2018 ballot.  By then we will know the outcome of a key court case that might limit the public employee unions’ capacity to spend ‘unlimited’ resources against pension reform.”

“Every year we delay serious pension reform public employers make more unsustainable promises to new employees and public retirement debts grow.  We need pension reform to protect our education system and vital public services from these fast growing burdens. Although our polling today shows continued strong public support for pension reform, we believe 2018 will provide an even better environment for substantial reform as rising retirement costs further squeeze their schools and local agencies budgets.

 

Title And Summary Issued For Reed/DeMaio Retirement Measure
August 8, 2015

Attorney General Kamala Harris late Tuesday issued title and summary for the Reed/DeMaio retirement initiative slated for the 2016 election ballot. This is a constitutional measure that, according to Harris: “Eliminates constitutional protections for vested pension and retiree healthcare benefits for current public employees, including those working in K-12 schools, higher education, hospitals, and police protection, for future work performed…Limits placement of financial conditions upon government employers closing defined benefit plans to new employees…”

Title and summary for every ballot measure is critically important because it can be very influential with voters. It can highlight flaws in the measure, as it does in this case.  In fact, initiative proponents have criticized the summary for being inaccurate and biased.  The measure’s opponents—including CAPS—contend the summary doesn’t go far enough in pointing out the measures failings.  For example, Harris’ summary fails to mention that disability and death benefits for peace officers are eliminated, among other detrimental impacts on a wide range of public employees. CAPS is opposing this harmful measure as part of Californians for Retirement Security, the broad-based coalition that advocates for a sustainable retirement for all California public employees.  For more: www.letstalkpensions.com