Gov. Jerry Brown, who will travel to Los Angles on Wednesday to sign legislation reducing public employee pension benefits, said today that the measure, though less sweeping than he proposed, is "the most that could be gotten" through his negotiations in Sacramento.
"What I got was the most that could be gotten," the Democratic governor said in an interview with the Bay Area News Group's editorial boards. "Is it enough? No."
The pension changes, approved by the Legislature over opposition from labor unions, will reduce benefits for future hires and require increased retirement contributions from current employees. Many Republicans, despite complaining the pension changes did not go far enough, called the measure a small step and voted to support it.
"It is very far-reaching pension reform relative to where we were," Brown said when a questioner suggested the changes were only minimal. "Let's get real here, folks. You're sitting around this table writing stories or thinking thoughts. I am in Sacramento. I've got to get things done."
Brown said, "I didn't say this was the end" of his effort to reduce pension costs.
"This is a big ship," he said. "You turn it slowly. Our direction is getting better, that's all I can say."
Editor's note: This post was updated at 11:20 p.m. to reflect that many Republicans, despite complaining the proposed pension changes did not go far enough, voted to support the measure in the Legislature.