Top California Attorney Clark Kelso: AG Harris Correct in Noting DeMaio/Reed Pension Measure Eliminates Retirement Security for Public Servants

August 14, 2015

Sacramento – University of Pacific McGeorge Law School Professor Clark Kelso, one of California’s most respected attorneys, said today that California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ ballot title and summary of the ballot measure to slash retirement and health benefits is an accurate assessment of the impact of the measure.

“The Attorney General got it right,” notes Kelso, who has previously served the State as acting California Insurance Commissioner, State Chief Information Officer, and the federal receiver for the state’s prison health care system, and who has received the California court’s highest award for service to the California judiciary. “The ‘Voter Empowerment Act of 2016’ removes the constitutional prohibition on making prospective reductions to statutory retirement benefits to public employees.”

Kelso’s opinion comes in the wake of one of the measure’s sponsors, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, claiming that the Attorney General’s description of the so-called “Voter Empowerment Act” was “ inaccurate and misleading.”

Reed made similar claims about this 2014 pension measure, ultimately suing the Attorney General over the title and summary in a previous measure. The courts rejected Reed’s claims, saying there was “nothing false or misleading” about Harris’ description.

Kelso has penned a memo on the DeMaio/Reed’s measure and its impact on the “California Rule,” which protects the retirement security of existing public servants. It can be viewed HERE