Schwarzenegger urges for Calif. pension reform

October 19, 2010 1:47:46 PM PDT
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined other big political names at a breakfast in San Francisco on Tuesday morning put on by former mayor Willie Brown.

They're pushing pension reform this November and warning of devastating economic consequences if voters don't approve several measures.

Brown holds the event almost every year and each time, it's a hotspot for politicos and elected officials. This year, Schwarzenegger stopped by and was the key note speaker.

He spoke about his seven years in office, and admitted it was filled with successes and failures. He also spoke about the importance of pension reform, calling it one of the key ways to balancing the budget at the local, state, and federal level.

He says less money should be spent on pensions for government workers and more into education and other state programs.

He did not mention Proposition B in San Francisco specifically, which would have city workers contribute more to their pension.

But he and other political leaders, including Brown, say they support measures like that on the state level, they say the pension and retirement plan has gotten out of control.

"Calpirs cost the state $150 million 10 years ago. Now it cost $3.9 billion a year, that's an increase of 2,500 percent," Schwarzenegger said.

"The city of Vallejo ended up in bankruptcy. Oakland lost 80 police officers. We have to pay attention to that issue," Brown said.

The program also featured a roundtable discussion with former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and former California Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte.

Brown and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, admitted that there is an enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats and said the GOP is building momentum. They also encouraged everyone to vote in this critical election, which could bring a change of control on Capitol Hill.


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