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California controller invites greater scrutiny of pension obligations




California state controller John Chiang (R) looks on as then governor-elect Jerry Brown speaks during a briefing on California's state budget on December 8, 2010 in Sacramento.
California state controller John Chiang (R) looks on as then governor-elect Jerry Brown speaks during a briefing on California's state budget on December 8, 2010 in Sacramento.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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In the name of transparency, State Controller John Chiang has added reams of data about public pension liabilities to his website. "In the months ahead, California and its local communities will continue to wrestle with how to responsibly manage the unfunded liabilities associated with providing retirement security to police, firefighters, teachers and other providers of critical public services,” explained Chiang, adding “Those debates and the actions that flow from them must be informed by reliable data that is free of political spin or ideological bias." Still, numbers that show pension obligations growing while money in the coffers is shrinking does add fuel to the fire of self-described pension reformers.

How are unions responding? Will Chiang’s transparency motivate new ideas for additional funds?

Guests:

Dan Pellissier, President of California Pension Reform

Keith Brainard, Research Director, National Association of State Retirement Administrators