It’s time again for Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 list, as subjective a ranking as exists anywhere in politics, and one that sparks wildy diverse reactions – even some that are positive. “Dear God, you’re not doing that again,” said one. “You’ve got people on that list who haven’t been in the building (Capitol) in years… go get some new blood!”
But a series of state court rulings are widely believed to mean that the pension offered current workers on the date of hire becomes a vested right, protected by contract law, that can only be cut if offset by a new benefit of comparable value. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas said in her ruling the question before her court is “one of law, not of policy,” referring to a state Supreme Court response to city and county briefs on an Orange County attempt to cut retirement costs.