Over loud objections from organized labor and Republicans, the Legislature has approved a state and local public pension overhaul package that rolls back benefits for future hires while raising what those workers and current employees contribute to their retirements in coming years.
Lawmakers sent the bill to Gov. Jerry Brown on a 38-1 vote in the Senate and 48-8 vote in the Assembly. Democrats, who control majorities in each chamber, barreled ahead with the vote just ahead of the end-of-session deadline after issuing language for the measure Tuesday evening.
Assembly Republicans tried and failed to suspend the measure or at least hold it up while a bill catch-up to close a loophole discovered on Wednesday. They also argued that Assembly bill 340 was a rush job and doesn't do enough to change the pension system.
"Can anyone say what this bill does?" said Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber.
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, countered that the legislation came from months of discussions and represents a refinement of a 12-point pension plan Brown proposed earlier this year. Republicans backed Brown's plan.
"It is meaningful, significant, historic reform," Pérez said.