AirTalk for September 12, 2012

State Senator Darrell Steinberg on Gov. Brown’s push for state pension reform and other pending legislation

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California state senate president Darrell Steinberg (R) looks on as California governor-elect Jerry Brown speaks during a briefing.

Governor Jerry Brown signed pension reform legislation into law in Los Angeles Wednesday to cut pension costs in California.

The Democratic Governor hopes to ease the state’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit through reforms of the state’s Public Employee Retirement System. But Brown wasn’t able to push through legislation on one of the state’s most contested policies without facing significant friction from critics.

Lawmakers approved the pension reform bill last month that requires employees to start paying half their retirement costs and increases the retirement age from 55 to 67 for new public employees among other reforms. State and local governments are facing pension debts estimated at approximately $250 billion, but the proposed reforms are predicted to save between $42 and $72 billion over 30 years.

Labor leaders, among others, are unhappy with the bill, but credit ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service is optimistic about the legislation’s effect on the state’s credit rating. Brown is also considering another highly debated policy change that would restructure workers’ compensation laws to increase payouts to injured workers, but avoid a large premium increase for employers. Brown has until September 30 to take action on this and other pending bills.

State Senator Darrell Steinberg joins Larry to review the latest round of legislative changes being pushed through Sacramento.

Guest:

Darrell Steinberg, President Pro Tem of State Senate, California State Senator, D-6th District (most of Sacramento County)


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