California Supreme Court Ruling on Pension Reform Falls Short

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:

Carl DeMaio Launches Campaign to Protect Prop 13 and Stop Property Tax Hikes

Carl DeMaio Launches Campaign to Protect Prop 13 and Stop Property Tax Hikes

This is it – politicians in Sacramento have launched their all-out assault to repeal Prop 13 and raise taxes this November. Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California, has launched the resistance to save and protect Prop 13 and organized a statewide virtual town hall where he outlined the campaign to protect Prop 13 and gave instructions on how supporters can join in the efforts in their areas.

Carl DeMaio Holds Town Hall On Risks Facing Small Businesses from AB5 & PAGA

Carl DeMaio Holds Town Hall On Risks Facing Small Businesses from AB5 & PAGA

Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio held a town hall with the California Business and Industrial Alliance where they warning Californians about costly new mandates stemming from AB5 and PAGA that are being implemented by Sacramento politicians.

The negative impacts of Covid 19 and new enforcement actions on AB5 and PAGA are destroying jobs. Lost wages may never be recovered and businesses may not come back from this. The Town Hall will equip you with the facts you need to know to keep your business safe!

Governor’s Promised Pay Cut Won’t Happen, Simply a PR Stunt to Pave Way for Tax Increases

Governor’s Promised Pay Cut Won’t Happen, Simply a PR Stunt to Pave Way for Tax Increases

“Governor Needs to Propose Fundamental Budget Reforms to Prevent Insolvency”

In response to Governor Gavin Newsom announcing he intends to seek a pay cut for state government employees with his revised budget for the coming fiscal year, Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio offers the following response:

“Governor Gavin Newsom’s call for a pay cut is just a PR stunt to convince voters that they should support massive tax hikes and taxpayer-funded bailouts for all the other reckless spending Newsom and Sacramento politicians are engaging in. At best, the pay cut will happen only on paper and state and local government employees will still receive compensation packages far in excess of what is justified in the local labor market. If Newsom were serious about fixing California’s finances, he would stop outrageous spending on things like welfare for illegal immigrants, pension spiking in state and local government, and the High-Speed Rail Train.”

DeMaio is a nationally-recognized government management and budget expert who chaired the California Citizens’ Budget Project that helped expose the financial crisis during Governor Gray Davis’ Administration and as a city councilmember helped save the City of San Diego from bankruptcy by reforming its budget and pension system in 2012.

Poll shows voters oppose Governor Newsom’s coronavirus policies

Poll shows voters oppose Governor Newsom’s coronavirus policies

Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio was on KUSI this morning to discuss how the majority of Californians are opposed to Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus policies. Our statewide poll shows that 72% of Californians want the state’s economy reopened by now and believe there is a better way to re-open the state than the statewide all-or-nothing lockdown approach Governor Gavin Newsom is pursuing.

Poll Shows California Voters Support Reopening, Support the Right to Protest, and Oppose Covid-19 Payouts to Illegal Immigrants

Poll Shows California Voters Support Reopening, Support the Right to Protest, and Oppose Covid-19 Payouts to Illegal Immigrants

“Governor Gavin Newsom is out of step with a bipartisan majority of California voters who believe there is a safe way to return to work.” –Carl DeMaio, Chairman, Reform California

A survey of 1,285 likely voters conducted by Remington Research for Reform California over the weekend (May 1-2) shows Californians believe there is a better way to re-open the state than the statewide all-or-nothing lockdown approach Governor Gavin Newsom is pursuing. 

“This polling shows Governor Gavin Newsom really needs to step back and listen to California voters who do not support his heavy-handed approach to dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak,” noted Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California.

Californians Favor Reopening Now – Only San Francisco Voters Want to Remain in Lockdown

A whopping 72% of California voters overwhelming support reopening the state’s economy now by simply requiring businesses to adhere to strict sanitation and social distancing standards and allowing individual counties to monitor Covid-19 infections to ensure local hospital capacity can handle any surges of new cases. 

When presented with an either-or choice of reopening without any mention of strict sanitation and social distancing standards, a surprising plurality of voters statewide want to reopen now (41% reopen, 36% remain closed) with only San Francisco area voters preferring to stay locked down by a wide margin (44% remain closed, 28% reopen.) 

Californians Support Allowing Counties to Reopen Individually

As a growing number of California counties are requesting that they be allowed to reopen on their own, three California counties (Modoc, Sutter, and Yuba) today announced they would simply reopen on their own despite Governor Newsom insisting that the state remain locked down entirely until the state as a whole could reopen all at once. Newsom’s statewide all-or-nothing approach is opposed by California voters – with 63% of voters favoring an approach to allow counties to decide separately whether to reopen versus only 29% who favor waiting for a statewide reopening date.

Californians Support Protests, but Oppose Payouts to Illegal Immigrants

As Governor Newsom and local elected officials threaten to arrest protesters around the state, California voters strongly support the First Amendment rights of protesters – with 58% of voters opposing any attempt to arrest protest organizers and any imposition of $1,000 fines on protest attendees. Conversely 59% of Californians overwhelmingly oppose Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to offer $1,000 taxpayer-funded payouts to illegal immigrants impacted by Covid-19 with only 27% supporting these payouts. 

Beach Closures: It Depends on Where You Live

While 51% of Californians support keeping beaches open, 42% support the closure of beaches. However when examining geography, it is clear support for beach closures is coming from the San Francisco area (50% support closed beaches) – with the greatest support for opening beaches coming from San Diego, Orange County, Inland Empire (63% support open beaches). 

Gov. Newsom Not Politically at Risk – Yet

The polling showed that despite opposition to individual policies, voters still give Governor Gavin Newsom high marks for his overall handling of Coronavirus (64% approve, 29% disapprove). Moreover when asked if voters would support a recall of Governor Newsom if he did not reopen the state by June 15, only 37% of voters said they would versus 54% of voters who would not support a recall.

“It is only the first week of May and California voters already oppose several high-profile mandates imposed by Governor Gavin Newsom on the Coronavirus,” noted DeMaio. “It stands to reason that with each passing day that the Governor digs in his heals on these unpopular policies his overall approval rating may plummet and his political vulnerability will increase,” DeMaio concluded.

Founded in 2003, Reform California is one of the state’s largest grassroots political action committees dedicated to opposing unnecessary tax increases and supports transparency and accountability in state and local government. More information at

California Coronavirus Polling – Toplines (May 1-2, 2020)

Q1: Do you approve or disapprove of the job Governor Gavin Newsom is doing in response to the Coronavirus pandemic?

Approve: 64%
Disapprove: 29%
Not sure: 7%

Q2: Some Californians believe the Coronavirus restrictions have gone too far in infringing on their Constitutional rights. Government officials have banned any public protests against Coronavirus policies. Should these individuals be allowed to protest and express their views freely OR do you support the decision to arrest organizers of protests and fine participants of protests $1,000 each? 

Allow protesters to express their views: 58%
Arrest protesters and fine them: 27%
Not sure: 15%

Q3: Some people say California businesses should remain closed indefinitely. Others say California has flattened the curve enough that it can now safely reopen now. Which do you identify with more? 

Remain closed indefinitely: 36%
Reopen now: 41%
Neither: 12%
Not sure: 11%

Q4: An alternative proposal has emerged for reopening California. Under this proposal, individual businesses could reopen only if they adhered to strict sanitation and social distancing standards to protect employees and customers – just like grocery and big box stores have done so far. Counties would monitor COVID infection rates to ensure they do not put their local healthcare system at risk. Would you support or oppose an approach like this to reopening your county? 

Support: 72%
Oppose: 13%
Not sure: 15%

Q5: Governor Gavin Newsom has said his shutdown of California businesses and his stay-at-home orders will be managed statewide. Some counties have made the case that California is a massive state and rural counties should not be forced to continue shutdowns if the real problems are in dense urban portions of LA and the Bay Area. Other counties with lower infection rates requested to be allowed to slowly reopen rather than wait for the entire state. Do you think we should only reopen the entire state at the same time OR should we let counties with lower infection rates reopen sooner? 

Reopen entire state at same time: 29%
Allow some counties to reopen sooner: 63%
Not sure: 8%

Q6: Governor Gavin Newsom recently backed away from ordering the closure of all California beaches and parks because he says he does not trust citizens to responsibly use these places for recreation. To send a warning to the rest of the state, Newsom did order Orange County beaches and parks to close. Opponents say beaches and parks are important for recreation and lifeguards and police are capable of reminding the public of the rules. Do you think the California beaches and parks should be opened or remain closed?  

Open beach and parks: 51%
Beaches remain closed: 42%
Not sure: 7%

Q7: Governor Gavin Newsom wants to give illegal immigrants $1,000 a month in COVID disruption payments using taxpayer funds. At the same time, Newsom says the state’s unemployment insurance fund may run out of money within weeks for benefits for citizens. Do you agree or disagree with the use of taxpayer funds to make payouts to illegal immigrants? 

Agree: 27%
Disagree: 59%
Not sure: 14%

Q8: If we reached June 15th and California still was not reopened for business, but other states in the US were reopened and doing well; would you sign a petition to initiate a recall against Governor Gavin Newsom to send a message that he needs to consider reopening soon? 

Yes, would sign recall petition: 37%
No, would not sign recall petition: 54%
Not sure: 9%

About the poll

Survey conducted May 1 through May 2, 2020. 1,285 likely 2020 General Election voters participated in the survey. Survey weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2020 General Election. Margin of error is +/- 2.7% with a 95% level of confidence.  Totals do not always equal 100% due to rounding.

View the full poll

Experts Urge Governor to Declare Public Health Emergency, Warn of Risks of Epidemic Outbreak Without Immediate Remediation Effort

 Leading experts in public health and vector pest control today released an explosive report showing an explosion in the rodent population in California cities across the state and a spike in dangerous diseases such as Typhus. 

California is being overrun by rodents – and without immediate emergency action by state and local government, we face significant economic costs and risk a public health crisis,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California.

Among the findings:

·    California is experiencing a massive spike in its rodent population that is both measured by available data sets and observed by field personnel.

·    Increase in California’s rodent population is not explained by environmental factors – but is directly related to the decision by some government officials to ban effective rodent control methods and a spike in the state’s homeless population.

·    Rodent infestations fueling an increase in reported cases of dangerous diseases such as Typhus – current rate of increase in cases raises concern regarding possible public health epidemic.

The report also outlines 4 recommendations for remediation framed by the expert panel, including:

  • Declare a Public Health Emergency, Work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Require Local Governments Conduct Immediate Assessments
  • Require Remediation Plans Be Formulated and Executed by Local Governments
  • Launch Public Education Campaign For Businesses and Residents to Mitigate Risk Factors
  • Oppose and Reject Assembly Bill 1788 – A Misguided Attempt to Ban Best Practice Pest Control Tools That Will Be Needed to Fight the Rodent Infestation

“Instead of acting to address this developing crisis, California state lawmakers are just days away from passing legislation (AB1788) to ban the best rodent control tools and methods available and would require use of less effective so-called green alternatives. It’s madness!,” DeMaio concluded.

The full report is available for distribution here

About Reform California

Formed in 2003 by former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, Reform California is dedicated to holding state and local government accountable and fighting costly and unfair taxes, mandates, and fees because working families cannot afford a higher cost of living — and state and local politicians already have enough of our money. For more information, visit