By CSLEA Chief Counsel Kasey Clark
Disappointed with the title and summaries issued by the Attorney General's Office on their previous submissions, former City of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio and crew have submitted two new ballot initiatives seeking to reform California's pension system. Attorney General Harris issued title and summaries on the earlier versions which stated that the initiatives would eliminate constitutional protections for the retirement benefits of employees including police, firefighters and teachers. The summary was upheld as not misleading by a superior court judge when the group sued the AG over the title and summary on the first go round. When Harris issued a similar summary on the second initiative, the group decided to go back to the drawing board once again rather than mount another legal challenge.
On October 5, 2015, the Reed group submitted two new proposals, at least one of which they hope will receive more favorable treatment from the AG. The first entitled the "Voter Empowerment Act of 2016"would preclude the State and local agencies from offering a defined pension benefit to any employee hired after January 1, 2019, or from having the employer pay more than half of the cost of funding any retirement benefit without the approval of the voters in the jurisdiction. To view full initiative, click here.
The second is entitled the "Government Pension Cap of 2016" which places maximum caps on how much a State or local agency may pay towards an employee's retirement and requires voter approval if the employer intends to pay more than half of the normal cost of the retirement benefit. To view full initiative, click here.
It is likely that the Reed group will decide on which of the two initiatives to circulate for signature once titles and summaries have been issued by the AG.
Much of what the Reed group is attempting to inflict on the State of California is based on Measure B which the former Mayor of San Jose implemented on the City of San Jose which resulted in the loss of hundreds of police officers and an increase in crime. Ironically, the San Jose Police Officers Association and the City of San Jose have recently negotiated an agreement to undo much of what was contained in Measure B. Attached is an excellent article by the Law Firm of Messing, Adam and Jasmine which details the devastating impact created by Measure B and the lengthy and costly fix.
Tentative Settlement of San Jose Pension Litigation - Chuck Reed's Measure B to be Abandoned by the City of San Jose
By Gregg Adam
To Read Article Click Here