Pension Deal Reflects Democratic, Union Ties

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders hailed their public pension deal as sweeping and substantial, but the governor failed to get critical elements that he previously said were needed to better protect taxpayers.

Missing were three pillars of the 12-point proposal Brown announced last October.

The deal does not include a 401(k)-style plan so public employees would bear some of the risk, nor does it reduce skyrocketing retiree health care costs.

And there will be no independent members or guarantee of financial expertise on the union-dominated board of the state's main pension fund.

The deal's limits reflect a hard reality in the Capitol: Democrats are beholden to the financial and organizational support of the public employee unions that stand to lose the most if benefits are scaled back.


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