Brown pension plan would halt ‘spiking,’ ‘air time’

Gov. Brown unveiled a plan to cut public pension costs that blocks “spiking,” prohibits the purchase of retirement credits and stops pension benefits for anyone convicted of a felony related to their job. The proposals were contained in new legislation presented to lawmakers.

The Democratic governor, who said he is moving ahead with pension reforms with or without the backing of Republicans, said he also is working on array of other hot-button pension changes, including caps on benefits, limits on post-retirement employment, a so-called hybrid plan of defined benefits/contributions and changes in the governance of CalPERS and CalSTRS.

The governor said the pension issues were raised during the fruitless budget negotiations with GOP lawmakers. Those talks foundered, but not on the pension proposals, according to the governor.

“All 12 of these pension reform measures were presented and discussed in detail with Republican legislators. Talks broke down, however, over other issues,” the governor’s office said.

Slimming down public pensions has been a top priority of GOP lawmakers but opposed by Democrats, many of whom enjoy support from government employee unions.

Politically, by introducing the pension-reform proposals, the governor seeks to take the volatile issue – and one that is popular with the public – out of the GOP’s playbook.

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