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budget_signing_2014.JPGGov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday to begin paying down an estimated shortfall of more than $74 billion in the California State Teachers' Retirement System, acting on the last of a raft of budget-related bills ahead of the July 1 start of the next fiscal year.

Brown's signature was strictly a formality. The pension fund measure was approved by lawmakers June 15 in a budget package negotiated with Brown. The Democratic governor signed the state's main budget bill and most of other legislation related to the $156.3 billion spending plan last Friday.

In a prepared statement highlighting the pension fund legislation, Brown said, "This bill will ensure a decent retirement for hundreds of thousands of teachers, both now and for decades to come."

The teacher pension bill requires increased CalSTRS contributions from school districts, teachers and the state, with much of the burden on districts. The bill had bipartisan support.

PHOTO: California Gov. Jerry Brown, center, signs the 2014-15 state budget on June 20, 2014, in San Diego. Looking on behind are, from left, state Sen. Ben Hueso, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, and Senate leader Darrell Steinberg. The Associated Press/Gregory Bull



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