Santa Ana is $30 million in the hole, has only $300,000 in reserves, and is revisiting its generous pension program. Other cities have joined suit, asking employees to contribute more – or any in some cases – to the cost of their benefit plans. And if the state were to approve pension and benefit overhauls such as Governor Brown has proposed, Santa Ana would save $4.5 million immediately.

Of California’s 481 cities, the Los Angeles Times reports that as many as 200 have reached some degree of concessions from their employee unions. Collectively, that has saved $600 million over the last two years. But most savings won’t be realized for a decade, as those changes and concessions come from new hires and not existing employees.

From the Los Angeles Times:

It’s business as usual at Santa Ana City Hall as residents trickle up to the counter to pay business fees, pick up a dog license or, in a newer wing next door, apply for a free solar permit.
But on the top floor of the eight-story concrete fortress, city officials in Orange County’s most labor-friendly city are doing the once unthinkable: demanding big benefit concessions from their employee unions.

Read the full article here.