Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Finally, a Pension Reform Proposal We Can Get Behind

Political Blotter reports that former Sacramento Assemblyman Roger Niello has gotten the Secretary of State's approval for his dramatic proposal to reform public employee pensions in California. Niello now has until October 20 to collect the 800,000-plus signatures he'll need to get his proposal on the November ballot.

And pure evil.
Niello's proposal would strip public employee unions of their right to negotiate pensions in collective bargaining sessions. It would also set the retirement age at 62, cap benefits at 60% of the employee's highest three-year average wage, and require that workers match agency contributions to their pensions. All of which we'd love to see. Of course, the Legislative Analyst and the Director of Finance estimate a positive impact on local and state finance, though even they acknowledge that reductions in government spending "would be offset to an unknown extent by increases in other compensation costs for some public employees, depending on labor market conditions and future decisions made by governmental entities." In other words, however much the public favors this measure, taxpayers shouldn't really expect to ever see lower taxes, nor should they expect anything by way of government services while they watch DMV clerks driving around in Bentleys.


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