Gov. Jerry Brown, lawmakers say pension deal will have to wait
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers remain divided over how to change public employee pensions, and Tuesday announced that a deal on retirement benefits will have to wait until at least after the Legislature's July recess.
"The governor could not agree to some of the changes in the pension counterproposal shared by the Legislature on Sunday," said his spokesman, Gil Duran. "These complex issues cannot be resolved in two days, and he has asked the Legislature to continue to work with him over the recess to resolve the substantial differences."
Brown outlined a 12-point pension proposal earlier this year, but failed to persuade lawmakers to go along with key tenets of his plan, including calls for a hybrid 401(k)-style pension for new employees, raising the retirement age for most workers to 67 and requiring all public workers to pay half the cost of their own retirement benefits.
Brown wants to raise the age at which most workers can receive a full pension to 67. Current law allows most workers to receive full benefits as early as age 55.
Tuesday’s announcement likely scuttles any plans Brown had to place a pension measure on the November ballot -- a move that he said was necessary to have the changes apply to cities and counties.
The governor's political advisors have also said that a pension plan on the ballot could boost the prospects for his tax initiative in the fall, showing voters that Democrats were cutting back on public spending while asking voters to open their wallets for higher taxes.
Still, Democrats said Tuesday that a pension deal would happen in August, when lawmakers return from their break.
-- Anthony York in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown outlines his 12-point pension plan in Sacramento. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press