Pension commission meets in San Jose

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Public Employee Post-Employment Benefits Commission will hold its next meeting Thursday in San Jose.

The commission, which was created by Gov. Schwarzenegger in February, has held monthly meetings around the state, listening to testimony from stakeholders in the pension debate. Commission chairman Gerald Parsky said the commission will be presenting recommendations to the governor and legislative leaders by January 1, 2008.

“The governor and legislative leaders have given us an important charge: determining how to address one of the most significant budget issues that California will face in the coming years,” Parsky said.

The bipartisan commission is composed of disparate factions within the pension debate–academics, financial investors, labor leaders and local government officials.

Unlike past meetings, the commission this week will begin discussing the process by which its report will be developed. Health-care reform is also on the agenda.
Health-care costs are not linked to the burden that pensions themselves are placing on local governments. But the commission also is looking at other post-retirement benefits, such as health-care guarantees, in its report.

Among those expected to testify at the hearing are Richard Figueroa, adviser for Gov. Schwarzenegger. Sumi Sousa, health-care policy adviser for Speaker Fabian Nu

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