Government & Politics »

Written by
Michael Gardner
6:35 p.m., July 5, 2012
Updated 6:51 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown and the leader of the state Senate on Thursday said they will resist any legislative maneuvering to override voter-approved pension reforms in San Diego and San Jose.

“It’s not part of my pension plan and I strongly oppose it,” Brown said in a statement.

In an interview, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said: “I would not favor doing anything that would affect the voter-approved initiatives in San Diego or San Jose.”

Brown and lawmakers have been embroiled in negotiations over pension reforms for state workers. Little was revealed about how those talks had also broadened to take in retirement benefits for those who work for cities, counties and special districts, but some lawmakers had been open to considering changes to local measures.

San Diego’s Proposition B seeks to replace guaranteed pensions with 401(k)-style plans for most city new hires and proposed a five-year freeze to the portion of current workers’ salaries that is used to calculate future pensions.

Two-thirds of San Diego voters approved the measure June 5, but it is being challenged by four labor unions and the Public Employees Relation Board.

In response to the latest developments, Darren Pudgil, a spokesman for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, issued a statement Thursday saying “The mayor was certainly glad to hear from Sen. Steinberg that San Diego’s initiative will not be impacted.”

Sanders earlier this week had warned of backroom negotiations that threatened to void Proposition B and another similar measure passed by voters in San Jose.

“Any attempt to nullify their vote would be a slap in their face and an outright insult to the Democratic process,” Sanders said in a letter to Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on Thursday added his voice in a strongly worded letter to all legislative leaders saying state intervention would be a “travesty.”

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