The status of the two pension-reform measures proposed by Reed and DeMaio moved forward on 12/9/15 when Attorney General Kamala Harris issued official summaries.
One measure (15-0076) puts new hires in a 401(k)-style retirement savings plan and guarantees fixed contributions from employers.
The other measure (15-0077) caps the amount of money government employers would be allowed to contribute for new hires at no more than 11 percent of wages (13 percent for police, firefighters and public safety workers.)
These new summaries are important because they are the only language that voters will see during a signature collection campaign. Harris has carefully crafted these summaries in the most fair and legal way possible, removing any slant or inaccuracies. Reed commented “It’s not the most positive way to describe the initiative, but at least it meets the legal requirement to be accurate.” On the other side of the fence, Union spokesman Steve Maviglio did not criticize the language either.
Now that the summaries have been assigned, Reed will poll voters to see which initiative casts a greater response. He is looking to see if either measure can hold at least 60% support from voters. According to David Low, chair of the Californians for Health Care and Retirement Security, polling is in progress and should be completed by Monday 12/14/15. "Based on previous polling, we anticipate that neither measure will test above 50%," says Low.
Once Reed and DeMaio determines the stronger initiative from the poll, they will push for the $2 to $3 million needed during a 3-month period to get the initiative on the ballot, estimating a total of $25 million to run the campaign statewide. Low also mentions "If our polling projection is accurate it will add fuel to the argument that anyone funding Reed/DeMaio is wasting their money."
ACSS will share the poll results as they are received. Low comments, "There will be a well funded opposition campaign if this measure qualifies. We will take this fight to the streets, organize, mobilize, and turn out voters. The protests against Governor Schwarzenegger will pale compared to what the supporters of these measures can expect." Maviglio agrees and promises that if the measure does manage to reach the ballot, “We’ll throw the kitchen sink at it.”
As always, ACSS will continue to stay on top of this important pension-reform issue and will deliver updates to you as they arise.
Click here to read the full article from the SacBee.
Official summaries obtained from the Office of the Attorney General’s website.