Sacramento may have adjourned, sending legislators home for a while, but that doesn’t signal the end of the move for retirement and pension reform. In fact, according to this opinion article by Steve Greenhut, their adjournment may mean little to a movement that will find its greatest traction in city and county halls.

Greenhut looks at San Francisco, where dueling reform measures are on the ballot, one that he considers a genuine reform effort and one without the same teeth.

However, in San Francisco, there are two practical and passable measures that would reform some pensions. That’s two more than Sacramento had this year.

Greenhut asserts that this means that any city can make more progress than our Capitol did, and if reforms can pass in San Francisco, they could pass everywhere.


Breathe a deep sigh of relief now that state legislators have headed home. As Judge Gideon Tucker (and also attributed to Mark Twain) exclaimed, “No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” You are safer now than you were a little over a week ago.

The real issues of reform now shift from the weird world of Sacramento to California’s cities and counties. Even legislators in the craziest of them – San Francisco obviously comes to mind – are more likely to pass needed reforms than those in the state Capitol, where interest-group politics trumps everything else.

Even though Stanford University research pins California’s public-employee pension debt at up to an unfathomable half-trillion dollars, no pension reform measure of substance passed the Legislature. Such crucial bills are nonstarters there, although the Democratic leadership did issue a press release promising unspecific pension reform. This says pension reform is such a hot topic that even its enemies need to pretend to support it.

Read the full article here.