Dems Make Stand on State Workers Pension

Democrats cool to targeting workers' pensions

By Don Thompson
|  Wednesday, Mar 2, 2011  |  Updated 1:45 PM PDT
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Prop Zero's <a title=Larry Gerston talks about the growing tension between public workers and the effort to balance a budget." />

NBC Bay Area

Prop Zero's Larry Gerston talks about the growing tension between public workers and the effort to balance a budget.

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Democratic lawmakers are criticizing a watchdog organization's recommendation that California freeze
 pension benefits for current state and local government workers.       

Stuart Drown, executive director of the Little Hoover Commission, told a legislative hearing Wednesday that California's public pension systems face soaring liabilities as baby boomers retire and live longer. The commission said obligations to retirees will become unsustainable in the future.

It made its recommendations for reform in a report last week.

Democrats control both legislative houses and generally support public employee unions. They say the commission's proposal to cut existing workers' benefits faces such legal hurdles that it likely
 is not worth pursuing.       

Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles chided commissioners for presenting a solution that "raises legal and constitutional red flags.''
 

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