Critic Launches Think Tank To Press for Pension Reform
Former Assembly member Keith Richman (R-Granada Hills) said he has created the not-for-profit California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility to advocate for pension reform, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Several estimates determined that health care benefits and cash payments to state retirees exceed expected pension funds by $100 billion, according to the Times. Richman said that billions of dollars also are owed to local government employees statewide.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in December said that he will create a bipartisan commission that will study potential reforms. However, the governor and lawmakers have yet to announce any of the commission's 12 appointees.
Adam Mendelsohn, communications director for Schwarzenegger, said that the administration and lawmakers have assembled a final list of appointees and that the delay should not affect the commission's task of producing recommendations by the end of the year.
Richman said he is not confident that the commission or Democratic-controlled Legislature will make progress in reforming the pension fund. "It will ultimately need to be addressed through the initiative process," he said (Saillant, Los Angeles Times, 1/31).