The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 10, 2012
Jerry Brown says California public pension reform won't be on November ballot

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 080811 Jerry Brown.JPGGov. Jerry Brown has backed away from his earlier call for legislators to put a pension-change measure on the November ballot, although the administration is continuing to push for statutory changes.

In an email to The State Worker, Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Ashford said, "There won't be pension changes on the November ballot. But we'll get the reforms done, you can count on that."

As noted in today's story in The Bee about the latest public opinion survey on state and local pensions, Brown offered a 12-point state and local government retirement reform plan to lawmakers in February as a constitutional amendment. The proposals became a springboard for public pension policy debates that will carry on into August with a goal of producing legislation ahead of the November election.

As of our Monday deadline for the pension poll story, however, it wasn't clear whether the governor was still pushing the Democratic-controlled Legislature to put a pension proposition on the Nov. 6 ballot. Although the deadline for placing measures on the ballot has passed, lawmakers could have changed the rules to allow for a later pension-reform entry.

Any effort to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot would have required some Republican buy-in to reach the two-thirds vote in the Senate and the Assembly that the law requires. Given the highly partisan nature of the Legislature -- and the fact that some pension reforms could hit the GOP's law-and-order base such as police officers and correctional officers -- a two-thirds vote would be hard to come by.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown / Sacramento Bee 2011 file, Hector Amezcua

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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