Pension Reform Mirrors Brown Proposal

February 22, 2012 - By admin

FEB. 22, 2012

By KATY GRIMES

With the recent pension reform ballot initiative defeated before it ever made it onto the ballot, many in California believed that taxpayers would never get a change to vote on the escalating pension debt predicament. However, the game has changed mid-play, with the Legislature stepping up this week to assist the Governor with his pension reform plan.

Why? Because, according to Republicans, the $240 billion in California pension debt is not going away.

Republicans Support Governor’s Proposal

Despite being largely ignored for any and all pension reform proposals during the past year, Republican lawmakers announced today a package of pension reform bills to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent reform proposal.

At a Capitol press conference today, a large group of Assembly and Senate Republicans said they are reaching across the aisle to ask Democratic lawmakers for support of Brown’s pension reform proposal.

Republicans said they also plan to propose other necessary reforms to augment the plan in order to stop abusive pension practices, and bring public employee pensions more closely in line with the private sector.

“Republicans believe that the Governor should have an up-or-down vote on his pension reform plan,” said Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar. “While we have heard Democrats give lip service about supporting his plan, none of their Members have committed to supporting it, or even carrying it.”

Huff explained that was a big part of the motivation behind Republicans’ decision to present Brown’s pension reforms in the form of legislation.  “We have not changed one comma, one period or one word,” said Huff.  This is his plan as he wrote it, and we will stand with him to see it passed.”

“Governor Brown’s pension reform plan represents the first step of the changes that must be enacted to get our runaway pension system under control,” said Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R- Tulare.

Recent studies have estimated that California’s total ongoing unfunded state pension obligations could be as high as $500 billion.

The Republicans referred to a Public Policy Institute of California poll, which found that 83 percent of Californians agreed that the amount of government spending on pensions is a big problem for the state.

“Local governments across the state are wrestling with their own pension reform problems,” said Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, the author of the Assembly’s pension reform bills.

Senator Mimi Walters, R-Irvine, reminded the media that Republicans have been asking for colleagues to pass meaningful pension reforms. “I have introduced many of these myself. And, as a member of the pension reform conference committee, I’ve remained hopeful that the committee would move forward with the governor’s modest reforms,” said Walters. “However, the persistence of special interests to derail any serious efforts to fix our massively underfunded pension systems is hampering any significant progress.  That is why it is imperative that we act now and entreat our Democrat colleagues to work with us.”

Huff said that while the legislative timeline for the reforms “could be glacial,” Republicans were getting to work on the bills immediately.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 18, by Huff; Senate Bill 1176, by Huff; and Assembly Constitutional Amendment 22, by Smyth; and a second Assembly Bill still pending, also by Smyth, will be the Republican’s legislation. After the press conference, Smyth added, “The bills are a mirror image of the governor’s pension reform plan, and are made up of components we negotiated last year with the governor.”

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments(23)
  1. Beelzebub says:

    I remember back in the good old days when there were pensions in the private sector. There was no such thing as ‘pension reform’. There was only ‘pension elimination’. One morning you woke up and the company announced ‘from this day forward no more pensions’ and you had to live with it. And here we are in 2012 and these turdbrain public workers still think that they deserve a defined pension benefit when everyone else gets a 401-k and SS. Why do the taxpayers even put up with it? A small slice of the population shouldn’t be able to write their own $million$ dollar plus pension tickets and make everyone else pay for it. The ones who pay the freight should be the ones to decide what they get or don’t get.

    Honestly I don’t think the republican pols want to cut back on public pensions any more than the democrats do. Both party’s benefit from the flow of union money. That’s why SB 400 and the 3%@50 disaster had nearly unanimous approval over a decade ago. Because BOTH parties sold out. It’s just a little game that they play. I would bet the farm that even if the republicans had the majority in the state legislature that public pensions would still be around. Just like with the big tax hike in Feb 2009. It took BOTH parties to kick it through.

    My personal view is that the 2-party system is pretty much a farce. All for show. Entertainment for the proles. Most everything is cut ‘n dried behind closed doors in the smoked filled rooms out of the public view. The bickering you see between the D’s and R’s on the floor is mostly a put-on performed for your buy-in. Political theater.

  2. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    A small slice of the population shouldn’t be able to write their own $million$ dollar plus pension tickets and make everyone else pay for it.

    You nailed it, they want EVERYONE ELSE TO PAY FOR THEIR PENSIONS, anyone but them, the elite 1% in the gov class. And face it MO ONE is the real world is getting a pension anywhere close to what a GED educated cop or firewhiner receives.

  3. NTHEOC says:

    rex says,
    a GED educated cop or firewhiner receives.
    ==============
    Again,show up to apply for any FD with only a GED and see how far you get!! Actually, we have hired quite a few guys with BS degrees lately and they really seem to have a hard time on probation.Most have no real life experience,no practical aptitude,no mechanical skills,and have never been on their own.I would say most applicants now days have at least an AA.

  4. NTHEOC says:

    Beelzebub says:
    I remember back in the good old days when there were pensions in the private sector.
    ==========
    My grandfather is in his mid 80s and worked over 30 years in a small machine shop in montebello.So lucky they were UNION!!!He has a nice pension and kaiser healthcare!!!

  5. NTHEOC says:

    Beelzebub says,
    There was only ‘pension elimination’. One morning you woke up and the company announced ‘from this day forward no more pensions’ and you had to live with it.
    ====================
    And how SCREWED UP is that!!!You can thank the private sector greedy fat pig ceo’s and greedy company slob’s for that. Oh yes the private sector motto””PROFIT BEFORE PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT””Whatever it takes to get as much as they can while RAPING the workers!! Yes, remember the good old days when people mattered like my grandfather. Thank you corporate pig america!!And yes,they own the politicians to.But i doubt KATY GRIMES has a problem with that!! It’s just the public sector workers who have a pension.Ya, that’s really the biggest problem,RIGHT!

  6. queeg says:

    Going nowhere

  7. Beelzebub says:

    “And how SCREWED UP is that!!!”

    You’re not thinking this one through, NTHEOC. 70% of Americans work for small businesses – not for the corporate pigs. Companies stopped providing pensions because to be competitive in the global economy it was either that or shut down the business. You see, in the private sector people have bottom lines that they have to meet. If they miss the bottom line they can’t print money or issue bonds to fill the hole. We are talking the REAL WORLD here.

    I agree with you that the criminal Wall Street banksters are a-holes who ruined millions of financial lives on Main Street. They should be punished but they own the pols and therefore are immune from prosecution and the rule of law. None of the D’s or R’s are demanding justice. That’s because Capital Hill is one big snake pit owned lock, stock and barrel by the corporations, mainly the investment banks. The government is of, by and for Wall Street.

  8. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    I agree with you that the criminal Wall Street banksters are a-holes who ruined millions of financial lives on Main Street. They should be punished but they own the pols and therefore are immune from prosecution and the rule of law

    We should not have bailed out a single financial institutions, and instead should have tossed the CEO’s in the slammer.

    Toss a few dozen of those dirtbags in the slammer like they did to Dennis Kozlowski and Jack Abrams and Bernie Madoff-then afetr they are BK and in the slammer lest see how much of that hanky-panky goes on.

  9. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Again,show up to apply for any FD with only a GED and see how far you get!! Actually, we have hired quite a few guys with BS degrees lately and they really seem to have a hard time on probation.Most have no real life experience,no practical aptitude,no mechanical skills,and have never been on their own.I would say most applicants now days have at least an AA.

    FF need more skills today than a cop today, maybe not in the past but today -at least 80% of all cops hired in major metro PD’s TODAY still have only a HS diploma……..

  10. cacheguy says:

    Great idea and great proposal. I wish our state Republicans were always this smart.

  11. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    This is too little too late-won’t chnage or do a thing.

    The only REAL reform will come through the ballot box, thru the voters.

    Remember how we got into this half trillion dollar mess-thru pols giving away the store at the expense of the rest of us. This is just more of the same.

  12. SeeSaw says:

    My spouse is a retired carpenter. His DB pension was frozen, without interest, in 1986, due to the illegal invasion. It could have been unfrozen at any time, in the interim, until his retirement, but the builders and developers did not want to hire union workers, any more, when they could have the untrained illegals, for $5/hr. My spouse’s DB pension, after 50 years of work, is $706/mo. It does not even cover the cost of his ABC medical insurance premium, which is secondary to Medicare.

    There any many private-sector situations, in CA, similar to my spouse’s. Is that type of situation, where you want to guide the lives of the future citizens of CA? Why not work to upgrade the situations of the private sector workers, so that they have sustainable plans, to look forward to, in retirement. If you want to take the public sector down to the level of all those minimum-wage workers in the right-to-work, red states, CA will not be among the top-ten economies, in the world, anymore. I, for one, wish that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have something better, that what so many, of you haters, want to leave behind, for them.

  13. Beelzebub says:

    “The only REAL reform will come through the ballot box, thru the voters”

    Fascism (the merger of state and corporate powers) renders the ballot box worthless. Look at the clowns running. Each and every election is a choice between the lesser of two evils. It’s a one-party system. And when people protest it they are squirted in the face with mace and hauled off the to slammer in cattle cars.

  14. Beelzebub says:

    “If you want to take the public sector down to the level of all those minimum-wage workers in the right-to-work, red states, CA will not be among the top-ten economies, in the world, anymore”

    You’ve got it completely backwards. If everyone got a big fat DB pension in America like the government hogs do we could not possibly compete in the global marketplace and our economy would collapse. Ordinary businesses simply cannot afford to pay people lifetime 2.5%@55 pensions and survive. Can’t you understand that? It’s not that they don’t want to. They simply could not pull it off and survive as a business in this global economy. This is not 1950 anymore. The entire economic landscape and our place in it has completely changed. This is something you folks can’t seem to grasp.

  15. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Beels, don’t try to reason with seesaw, she does not have the brain power to compete in a free market.

  16. SeeSaw says:

    There is a national organization working to set up DB pensions for the private sector. I was at the CalPERS, California Dialogue, in Los Angeles, in 2010, when the efforts of that group, were discussed by its representative. There is no such thing as, “Can’t Be Done”. There were many in the 30′s who did not believe, that SS would ever be successful.

  17. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    There is a national organization working to set up DB pensions for the private sector.

    seesaw, can you NOT read, or do you just not get it???? Do you not have the brain power to figure out what beelz just said to you about DB pensions???? Here, read this again;

    If everyone got a big fat DB pension in America like the government hogs do we could not possibly compete in the global marketplace and our economy would collapse.

    If the private sector gave out DB’s like the government does 50% of all revenue would go to pensions, and our economy would completely collapse, it would be destroyed because we could not produce products or function using 50% of revenue to pay pensions.

    Get with the progam, try to think out these nutty comments you post.

  18. SeeSaw says:

    I can read, and I do get it, and I am in no way, shape, or form, a hog! I just told you my episode, of what happened, to my spouse. My spouse would be enjoying a DB pension, of $4000+/mo, right now, if the builders and developers had not been so greedy–instead his pension is $700+/mo. Add to that, the builders and developers were breaking the law, by hiring illegals. The employers need to stop being so greedy–hire American workers, at American pay rates! The CEO’s do not need 20 million a year–they need to set up DB plans, for the workers. It has nothing to do with public sector workers–where do you see the government hiring illegals–or outsourcing their customer service lines to India?

  19. David H says:

    My mother is in her mid 70s and worked over 30 years in a small shop as a bookeeper earning $13/hr. as her top wage in central California. So lucky they were Non-union.!!! She has a nice 401k and kaiser healthcare!!! Plus a free conscience that she did not have to cheat anyone else out of money or freeload on the taxpayer.

  20. SeeSaw says:

    I didn’t cheat anyone out of any money either David H. I provided services for a salary, just like your mother did. She probably did the books for a few public sector workers–how do you suppose she got paid! I am a taxpayer just like you, and your mother. Now SA Cowboy–you just climb down from that high horse, you are on–be sure you have the ladder you will need, too.

  21. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    I didn’t cheat anyone out of any money either David H. I provided services for a salary, just like your mother did

    BALONEY-every single trough feeder that took millions in unearned and worked for retroactive pension increases cheated the taxpayer, and that covers nearly every public employee in the last 10 years.

  22. SeeSaw says:

    Poor dog! He made some bad career choices–now he must live with the results–nothing left to do, but accuse public workers, of cheating their own friends and families–oh sure!

  23. Jon Fairbank says:

    You can’t take away what I have been promised. I have been planning out my life based on the expected lifetime pension. Yes, I will admit it; it’s a very generous pension system. But I have and will have earned it. I took test after painful test to go from clerk to where I am today. How many people in the private sector have to take tests for their jobs?!

News Archive

Archive By Categories
  • Budget and Finance
  • Education
  • Health care
  • Infrastructure
  • Inside Government
  • Life in California
  • Politics and Elections
  • Regulations
  • Rights and Liberties
  • Waste, Fraud and Abuse