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California Assembly approves state pension changes

August 31, 2012 |  1:41 pm

Perez Conway

The California Assembly approved widespread changes to public employee pensions on Friday.

The bill now goes to the state Senate for another vote, the final stop before it heads to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

"It is meaningful, significant, historic reform," said Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles).

The plan, which mostly affects new employees, raises the retirement age, caps pensions and forces workers to pay more for their benefits. In an updated analysis released Friday, California's pension system said the plan could save the state between $42 billion and $55 billion over 30 years.

Lawmakers have been rushing to finalize pension changes this week because the legislative session ends on Friday.

Republicans criticized the bill as a watered-down version of Brown's original proposal.

"It's only a Band-Aid to get you through election time," said Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point).


Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to stem pension costs is no panacea

Brown takes softer line in latest plan to rein in pension costs

Conservative activists, unions bash Jerry Brown's pension plan

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento


Photo: Assembly Speaker John Perez, speaking with Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway at the Capitol last year. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press