Supporters of Reforming Public Pensions Say Bill Would Not Be Effective
Pension reform advocates and state Controller John Chiang (D) have withdrawn their support of a bill (AB 1987), by Assembly memberÂ Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), that would attempt to curb California public employees from so-called pension boosting, saying that amendments have weakened the bill, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Andrea McCarthy -- a spokesperson for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) -- said the governor would not sign the bill as amended.
Pension boosting occurs when employees add unused time from vacation and sick days, as well as other benefits, to their pension plans.
Schwarzenegger has called for major reform to address the state's $500 million debt in unfunded pension.
Many communities allow retiring workers to add more pay categories to their end-of-year salary total. Factors that determine pensions include an employee's final year's pay, age and the number of years worked.
Ma said that many instances of pension boosting have come from top management, rather than rank-and-file employees.
She added that the bill would target employees who have high salaries and are not a member of a bargaining group.
Pension reform advocates said that amendments added to the bill have weakened the bill's overall purpose. The amendments, which are supported by unions, would allow negotiations on issues such as education incentives and shift changes to determine a final pay figure.
Jacob Roper, a spokesperson for Chiang, said the controller would seek changes to the legislation (Saillant, Los Angeles Times, 8/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.