BY DUANE W. GANG
Published: 27 October 2011 08:20 PM
California’s nonpartisan legislative analyst praised Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension plan Thursday and said it deserves consideration by the Legislature.
“I thought it knocked the ball out of the park,” Mac Taylor, who heads the Legislative Analyst’s Office, said during a lecture series at his alma mater, UC Riverside. “I think it is an excellent start.”
Earlier on Thursday, Brown unveiled his plan to curb rising retirement costs for state and local government employees. The plan calls for a hybrid system combining a 401(k)-style plan with guaranteed payments. It also calls for increasing the retirement age and asking employees to contribute more toward their own pensions.
Taylor said much of what the governor proposed is similar to what his office, which provides lawmakers with policy and fiscal advice, outlined four months ago.
He said the state’s unfunded pension and retiree health liabilities exceed $150 billion. The governor’s plan recognizes that pensions are too expensive, Taylor said.
Taylor has been part of the Legislative Analyst’s Office in Sacramento for the past three decades and is only the fifth person to hold the post since its creation in 1941.
He spoke before about three dozen students, faculty and community members as part of UC Riverside’s Randall Lewis Seminar Series. Taylor outlined the fiscal challenges facing the state and how they came about. Attendees asked questions during a free-flowing exchange for more than an hour.
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