The newest such salvo comes from a Santa Cruz county Assembly member, Luis A. Alejo, D-Watsonville. Alejo introduced a bill last month - AB 160 - that would
exempt about 20,000 transit workers from the reforms. It was sponsored by the
Teamsters and other unions that represent transit workers in California.(The Daily Breeze)
The California state legislature just passed meager pension reforms which offered the following (if anything):
1. Increase the retirement age for new employees.
Rhode Island faced immense budget shortfalls because of unfunded pension liabilities. Gina Raimondo, the General Treasurer, petitioned everyone in the state, not just new employees, to contribute more. Illinois has the biggest pension crisis in the United States, but California is fast approaching.
2. Cap the annual payout at $132,120.
The bigger question remains: how many civil servants are serving themselves with such a massive pension in the first place?
3. Eliminate numerous abuses of the system -- pension spiking has already been identified.
4. Require workers who are not contributing half of their retirement costs to pay more.
This proposal is a step in the right direction. Governor Brown was dismayed that the following reforms were not implemented:
1. No hybrid public-private (401(k)) pension plan.
2. No reforms to control retiree health care costs.
ObamaCare is going to cause health care costs to skyrocket, and the shortage of doctors will only force rationing on those who have received more "access".
3. No reforms for board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System.
In spite of these piecemeal reforms, one dedicated "legislator" is showing his true colors, that he is in the pocket of the unions, not united with the voters, whether poor or rich, whether black or white or any other ethnicity. Luis Alejo wants to chip away at these brittle reforms, targeting the cuts which transit workers will take on following these reforms.
Even when legislators claim to advance the best interests of the state, their biggest campaign donors still gain the most respect and attention, regardless of the harmful impact of promoting their special interests at the expense of the voters and the state's general need.
For the record, Assemblyman Alejo receives campaign contributions from the General Trade and Public Sector unions, including his Top Ten Contributors:United Association $9,050 International Union of Operating Engineers $8,900 California Teachers Association $7,800 Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians $7,800 Laborers' International Union of North America $7,800 American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees $7,800 National Education Association $7,800 AFL-CIO $7,577 California Nurses Associationnational Nurses Organizing Committee $7,000 Professional Engineers in California Government $6,000
No wonder Alejo is stepping up for the unions, even though the legislature last year attempted to step up for the rest of California.
The current pension obligations are throttling the state of California with a looming liability equal to one quarter of all fifty states. The "wall of debt" is preventing businesses from entering while prompting the struggling businesses within to get out without losing out on any profit, along with the growing exodus of California residents looking for some respite from the tax and spend, regulate frustrate agenda out of Sacramento.
There is no excuse for anyone in Sacramento, no matter who bought his or her seat, to tinker with the twinkle of pension reforms already enacted.
Contact Assemblyman Alejo. Tell him that every organized working interest in the state of California, including the Teamsters, must remain team players in the budget balancing and pension reforms desperately needed in the state of California. Tell him to pull AB 160, then outline his plan to lower taxes, lessen spending, and loosen costly and cumbersome regulations.
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0030
Tel: (916) 319-2030
Fax: (916) 319-2130
100 West Alisal Street
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 759-2961 Fax
365A 4th Street
Hollister, CA 95023
Phone: (831) 638-3228
275 Main Street
Watsonville, CA 95076
Phone: (831) 761-7428