Chuck Reed is soon to become a household name.
San Jose’s Democratic mayor announced yesterday that he and a coalition of local leaders across the state will pursue qualifying a statewide pension reform initiative for the November 2014 election.
The proposed initiative, entitled Pension Reform Act of 2014, will allow cities to curb pension obligations going into the future but will protect current retirees from reductions in their benefits.
At a conference held at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Mayor Reed addressed the conference participants regarding pension reform and invited Hoover guests to join him in turning pension solutions into action. The video of his presentation can be viewed below.
Reed is hard on the heels of a major pension reform victory in his own city. His successful efforts to pass Measure B garnered national attention as almost 70% of the city’s electorate voted in favor of the cost-cutting measure.
Reed is joined by four other mayors across California: Bill Kampe of Pacific Grove; Pat Morris of San Bernardino; Miguel Pulido of Santa Ana; and Tom Tait of Anaheim.
Despite the traction the initiative has gained in the past few days, it is not without some serious opposition from several of the state’s heavyweights. According to Reuters, CalPERS is ready to fight this measure on a number of political and legal grounds.
“The courts have clearly established that California public employees have a vested right to the level of benefits promised to them when they are first employed,” Calpers said in an interview with Reuters. “This prevents not only a reduction in the benefits that have already been earned, but it also prevents a reduction in the benefits that an employee has been promised for their future service.”