Bump in the Road for Pension Ballot Measure

6th District Court of Appeals pauses the printing of the ballots

By Jenna Susko and Julie Putnam
|  Friday, Apr 27, 2012  |  Updated 7:26 AM PDT
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Bump in the Road for Pension Ballot Measure

AP

People check in to vote in the District of Columbia's primary election at Eastern Market in Washington, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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Stop the presses- printing of San Jose's pension reform ballot measure has paused.

The measure, approved by City Council last month to head to the June ballot, was put on hold this afternoon by the 6th District Court of Appeals.

The court filed this document ordering the ballots not be sent to the printer until further notice.

It's in response to an appeal filed by city workers over the language of the measure. They want it changed dramatically.

The attorney for city workers, Robin Johansen, issued this statement:

We are pleased that the 6th District Court of Appeals will consider  our emergency writ seeking to ensure that the ballot question for Measure B is impartial and complies with California election law.

San Jose's mayor, Chuck Reed, provided us this statement:

It’s unfortunate that the City employee unions are still attempting to keep the voters from having a voice on pension reform. While we expected these kinds of legal tactics, they don’t eliminate the need for pension reform and the City will respond to the Court.

The ballot measure would make some reasonable changes to our pension system so that we can restore core services to the community and protect the health of the retirement funds.

Over the past decade, retirement costs have risen from $73 million to $245 million, and now consume more than 20% of the General Fund. As a result, the City has been forced to layoff police officers and firefighters, close libraries and community centers, and watch our roads deteriorate.

It’s time to allow the voters to decide if they want to continue draining money out of services to pay for retirement benefits

The city of San Jose has until Monday to respond to the court's order.

To view our ongoing investigation into San Jose's pension problems, click here.

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