Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg met with reporters on Monday to talk about the final four weeks of the legislative session. Among the topics he touched on: legislation that would change state and local public pensions.
Here are the high points of that part of the discussion with the Sacramento Democrat, according to notes passed on to The State Worker by Bee Capitol Bureau colleague Torey Van Oot:
On the timing of public pension legislation:
"Definitely by the end of the four weeks."
"The good thing is procedurally and logistically, the conference committee is obviously established and obviously this is an issue of utmost importance that we're going to ensure that the language is out there long enough for people to be able to read it, understand it, comment (on) it and see it. We're working real hard now to try to finish up the remaining issues and get it out as quickly as possible,"
On what issues still need to be hammered out:
"Same issues really, the kind of cap, whether or not you have a hybrid, the extent to which all of these changes apply to local governments, what parts and what is left to collective bargaining at the local level. Pre-emption is not an issue."
On whether lawmakers after the November election might repeal whatever public pension legislation they enact, since the changes will be in statute and not amendments to the state constitution:
"There has been such a focus on this issue that it would be the height of gall and it would be frankly foolish to consider doing anything, quote, 'after the election,' to raise pension benefits again. That's just not going to happen and I know I won't be part of it."
'I get that you can always change a statute, but that's just plain not going to happen."
PHOTO: Darrell Steinberg / Sacramento Bee 2011 file