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California Gov. Jerry Brown gives a speech at Los Angeles City Hall on January 18, 2012 in Los Angeles.
Yesterday, the California Pension Reform group suspended its efforts to put an overhaul measure of state pensions in front of voters. While 83% of people in December stated pensions are a problem, the group claims it’s still a tough sell.
Furthermore, they cite Attorney General Kamala Harris as one of the primary reasons for abandoning plans for a ballot initiative. The group feels Harris misrepresented several key particulars about the plan to potential voters, which made it basically impossible to raise the millions of dollars needed to fund a petition campaign. Also, the Legislative Analyst’s Office raised questions and concerns about how much money this plan would save, which set the group back as well.
The real victim here might be Governor Jerry Brown’s own pension proposals, which he will be presenting to the Democratic-controlled Legislature. California Pension Reform’s plan was much more severe in its handling of pensions than Brown’s, and the idea was that lawmakers would be more comfortable ushering in Brown’s modest reforms over letting the general public vote in a Draconian system.
Why did California Pension Reform drop its plan? Will Governor Brown’s proposals be threatened as a result? What role did Kamala Harris play in all of this? Will we reach a proper compromise on an issue over which a strong majority of Californians view as problematic?
Dan Pellessier, President of California Pension Reform and author of the pension reform measure the was intended for the November ballot