I wish I could say I was surprised. I wish I could say that this is a new frustration. In reality it is just the same old song we keep hearing from public employee unions. More than a year ago, Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature showed leadership by making some moderate changes to the State’s pension systems. It was not everything that taxpayers wanted or hoped for; but it was a significant step in the right direction to limit pension spiking and try to bring some common sense to a system that was ignoring economic realities and running away from financial responsibility.
Two week ago, the CalPERS Board ignored the action by the Governor and the legislature last year and again spiked pension benefits for public employees by approving 99 new types of extra pay that will count in pension calculations. Examples of the 99 new ways to bolster pensions included things like bonuses paid for marksmanship, longevity, physical fitness and obtaining a new license.