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Gray Davis lauds Schwarzenegger, calls for pension reform

August 17, 2010 | 10:29 am

Former Gov. Gray Davis said reforms advocated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will make it easier for whomever holds the job next, and he praised Schwarzenegger for pushing for changes in the state pension system -- changes that Davis said were now inevitable.

"With ... the open primary and redistricting reform, at least 20% of the Legislature will have its interests properly aligned, and they will be punished [by voters] if they don't solve big problems," he said. "Right now, the Legislature is punished if they do solve big problems. But help is on the way for the next governor."

Davis also said the financial assumptions that led to him signing massive increases in state worker pensions were wrong and should be undone.

"The evidence seemed to suggest the state was wealthy enough to afford it," he said. "It was part ideology and part math, and the point is the math was wrong, big-time.

"Pension reform is essential. You just can't afford the benefits that have been promised because all the actuarial studies turned out to be wildly optimistic," he said. "We have no choice now, and if I was governor, I would be doing exactly what Arnold is trying to do, which is require people to contribute more to their pensions."

Davis made the comments in an interview with Reuters. You can read the full story here.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento