Republican Senators Urge Governor Brown to Call a Special Session on Pension Reform Now

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Several members of the Senate Republican Caucus today held a news conference to urge Governor Jerry Brown to immediately call a special legislative session to pass a comprehensive bipartisan pension reform package and put it before the voters.

Following is the letter that Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton (Rancho Cucamonga) sent to the governor outlining the immediate need for a special session focused solely on pension reform:

November 8, 2011

The Honorable Jerry Brown
Governor, State of California
State Capitol, First Floor
Sacramento, CA  95814

RE:  Special Session on Pension Reform

Dear Governor Brown:

Senate Republicans applaud the recent release of your 12-point plan to reform California’s unsustainable public employee pension system.  In a spirit of bipartisanship, I am urging you to immediately call a special session of the Legislature to focus solely on pension reform.

This special session will provide the focus needed to fill in the details of your 12-point pension plan and draft a constitutional amendment to go before the voters.  A vote of the people is necessary to ensure that these important pension reforms are not undone in the future by a simple majority vote of the Legislature.

Additionally, it is important that any savings or cost avoidances derived from the pension reforms be dedicated to reducing the state’s unfunded pension liability.

Although there is a Joint Legislative Conference Committee on Public Employee Pensions hearing next month to review your 12-point plan, it is not clear that action will be taken in the near term. The Senate Republican Caucus believes it is critically important to engage the entire Legislature on pension reform now.

Thank you for considering a special session on pension reform.  Senate Republicans look forward to working with you and our legislative colleagues on this critical issue.

Sincerely,

Bob Dutton
Senate Republican Leader