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Bell pensions and municipal corruption: what are the options for reform?

by AirTalk®

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The CalPERS, California Public Employees' Retirement System building in Sacramento, California. Getty Images

Bell citizens are up in arms over the news that city leaders are pulling exorbitant salaries – up to $800,000 a year – and that resulting pensions for some officials could reach $600,000 a year. But such outrageous salaries for public employees aren’t illegal in California. The key to reforming city pensions, say experts, is citizen involvement – but are there legislative options, perhaps at the state level, to prevent runaway salaries for local officials?


Marcia Fritz, President, California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, a pension reform advocacy group

Jessica Levinson, Attorney and Director of Political Reform at the Center for Governmental Studies

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