California Supreme Court Ruling on Pension Reform Falls Short

Today the California Supreme Court issued a ruling that upholds the modest PEPRA pension reform law enacted by former Governor Jerry Brown.  While the ruling may seem like a win for taxpayers, Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio, who also authored San Diego’s 2012 landmark pension reform initiative, says the ruling is quite narrow and provides little legal relief for taxpayers.

DeMaio issued the following statement in response to the ruling:

“By crafting a narrow ruling that sidesteps the fundamental flaws with the notorious California Rule, the California Supreme Court seems hell bent on forcing California taxpayers to bear the excessive costs of unsustainable pension payouts for state and local government employees.  Because the California Rule remains untouched in this decision, taxpayers will continue to face legal hurdles that could prevent them from modifying or reforming excessive and unsustainable government pension payouts.  The result will be higher taxes, less services, and potential insolvency in California’s cash-strapped state and local government pension systems.”

With today’s ruling the California Supreme Court has upheld PEPRA reforms such as banning the addition of unused sick time, bonus pays and some specialty pay to pension calculations – all common tools used by government workers to spike pensions.

A full copy of the ruling can be accessed here:

https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S247095.PDF