By Catherine Saillant and Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times, June 7, 2012
The advocates expect similar initiatives cutting pension costs to take off across California. Some analysts say Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to rein in state pension obligations may seem like a better deal than tough voter-approved measures.
Landslide victories on ballot measures to cut pension costs in two major California cities emboldened reform advocates, who said they expect a flurry of copycat initiatives and increased support for Gov. Jerry Brown's long-stalled push to curb the state's obligations to its employees.
In San Jose, nearly 70% of voters Tuesday approved a plan that gives workers the choice between increasing their pension contribution to 13% of their pay, currently 5% to 11%, or switching to a lower-cost plan with reduced benefits. It also steeply cuts benefits for new hires and tightens rules for disability retirements.
In San Diego, where pension cuts already have been implemented, voters opted to eliminate pensions for new workers. By a 66% to 34% margin, voters Tuesday endorsed Proposition B, which provides newly hired city employees with a 401(k) program, but preserves traditional pensions for new police officers [....]
Pension votes in cities put pressure on Gov. Brown
By Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, June 6, 2012
After voters in San Jose and San Diego, two of California's largest cities, rolled back public employee pensions in Tuesday's election, pressure is mounting on Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature to take similar action to deal with financial crises that are crippling state and local governments.
But don't expect politicians in California to attack the collective bargaining rights of public unions as they did in Wisconsin, experts said Wednesday. The Democratic Party controls both houses of the California Legislature and all of the statewide offices, and left-leaning politicians have little incentive to crack down on labor unions that are among the party's major donors and suppliers of grassroots support [....]