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Measure to roll back public pensions is abandoned

February 24, 2010 | 12:04 pm

Short on cash, backers of a proposed ballot measure to scale back government worker pensions in California are suspending their efforts to qualify for November election.

Supporters of the initiative had to gather 694,354 signatures of registered California voters by June 14 -- a task that was expected to cost $2 million. But the money never materialized. Marcia Fritz of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility told the Sacramento Bee that hopes have disappeared that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger or GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman would help raise money.

"The governor felt he'd be a hindrance to us," Fritz said. "Meg is not supporting us. That's pretty much it."

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, a Democrat expected to run for governor, last month gave the measure a title and summary that GOP consultants believed would hinder the measure’s chances to succeed.

Fritz said in a statement that if the Legislature does nothing to rein in pension costs this year, her group would be back with a new pension measure.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento