Statement of Dave Low, Chairman, Californians for Retirement Security, on Attorney General's Title & Summary of DeMaio/Reed Pension Measure

August 11, 2015

We strongly disagree with the Attorney General's elimination of the specific mention of teachers, nurses, police and firefighters in the title and summary. They are the bulk of the public servants whose retirement security and death and disability benefits would be abolished by this heavy-handed measure. The inclusion of these professions in a previous version of this measure had already passed legal muster, even after multiple appeals by Chuck Reed.

While the statement accurately reflects that this Tea Party-backed measure is a back-door way of repealing Constitutionally-vested and promised rights to retirement security and health care and breaks contracts negotiated through collective bargaining, it falls far short of describing the chaos and uncertainty that would occur if it were to pass, including the undermining of the financial stability of the state's major retirement systems. The measure also purports to protect death and disability, but contradicts itself by repealing the very structure on which these benefits are provided for police, firefighters and other public workers.

This type of extreme measure will be unacceptable to California voters and is doomed to fail.