|More and more tiers|
A summary of the issues surrounding the proposed pension initiative appears today in Calpensions.* As we have noted in past postings, whether the initiative ends up on the ballot depends on whether its proponents can get enough money to gather the necessary signatures. The number required is lower than usual because turnout in the last gubernatorial election was low. But we are still talking about something like $2 million for a signature campaign. Thereafter, of course, there would be a much more costly campaign, pro and con, for the actual election in 2016.
As Calpensions point out, a version on this initiative was filed last year but dropped after sthe attorney general’s summary was deemed (by proponents) of the initiative to be slanted. However, a legal challenge to the wording was unsuccessful in the courts. One difference between the wording this time and last is that there is no specific mention of occupations. Instead, the new attorney general’s wording lists sectors:
Old (abandoned) version:
“Eliminates constitutional protections for vested pension and retiree healthcare benefits for current public employees, including teachers, nurses, and peace officers, for future work performed.”
“Eliminates constitutional protections for vested pension and retiree healthcare benefits for current public employees, including those working in K-12 schools, higher education, hospitals, and police protection, for future work performed.”
Although Calpensions does not get into it, you might note that the new version specifically includes “higher education.” Whether that addition would influence votes one way or another is unclear. But the addition does make clear that higher ed – and thus UC – would be covered.
The UC pension already has two tiers, thanks to changes made by the Regents in 2010. Because of the unfortunate Committee of Two deal, a third will have to be added and much work will go into designing the third one. Should the initiative pass, there would have to be a fourth tier.
*The calpensions article is at http://calpensions.com/2015/08/12/pension-initiative-ballot-summary-draws-crossfire/. The title and summary from the attorney general is at https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/Title%20and%20Summary%20%2815-0033%29.pdf
Two tiers, three tiers, four tiers. Someone should be shedding tears: