State Government Must Enact Meaningful Pension Reform

UPDATE: AB 1247 unanimously passed the Assembly and heads to the Governor’s Desk for signature 

Just like local governments throughout California, it is clear that state government must enact meaningful pension reform, and it must happen soon. In many ways, the current system is unsustainable. It’s costing taxpayers billions of dollars, and it threatens stable, secure retirement for workers over the long term. The required employer contribution rate for the State Miscellaneous Tier 1 plans has gone from 0% in 2000-2001 to 19.92% in 2010-2011.

While the debate continues over how best to reform our state pension system, I have proposed a first step to reform the existing system by providing greater transparency and pave the way for broader reforms moving forward.

Regardless of our positions on pension reform, we should all agree on the need for greater transparency. Opening up the books is a valuable first step that will enable lawmakers and policy makers to better understand how the pension system is performing, and how it might impact the contributions of governments and their employees in the future.

Committee Focuses on Jobs for New Economy

economy and job market are the keys to a successful future for California.  We have long been the home of innovators,
entrepreneurs and risk-takers who have revolutionized our world. Technology
born in California has changed the way we do everything from listening to music
and communicating with each other to running our businesses and keeping
ourselves healthy. In order to accelerate our state’s recovery and position us
as a competitive market in this complex globalized economy, we must ensure our
state has an environment that will attract and retain these innovative new-economy

new economy is critical to California’s long-term success. Studies consistently
show green and technology sector growth outpacing the rest of our industries.
Embracing these sectors will create good-paying local jobs for Californians,
strengthen our economy and allow us to retain our place as a global leader for

Job Creation is Job # 1

California has always been synonymous with the American Dream. “Go west, young man, go west,” they said, and people did. From the Gold Rush until today, California has been the place people aspired to achieve their dreams. We have been the global center of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.

In the Golden State everyone had a shot at making a better life. The hardest working and most creative people found success here and made California their home. They established the nation’s best schools and universities, built cutting-edge infrastructure and revolutionary high tech, biotech, entertainment, agriculture and defense industries. Californians made our state the envy of the world.

Unfortunately, those accomplishments are becoming distant memories. Today, California is renowned for record unemployment, budget deficits, and a massive job exodus from the state. While the global economic recession is certainly a factor in the convergence of those negative trends, much of the blame goes to state policies that have knocked the luster off the golden state.