The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California’s most influential taxpayer-advocacy organization, has joined Governor Jerry Brown in an effort to end a state rule that limits changes to public employee pension plans.

On Wednesday (Feb. 21) HJTA submitted an amicus curiae brief in the California Supreme Court in CalFire Local 2881 v. CalPERS involving the so-called “California Rule.”  Public employee unions have argued that under the “California Rule,” no pension benefit provided to public employees through a statute can ever be withdrawn without replacement of a “comparable” benefit, even as deferred compensation for services not yet provided, and even if the Legislature determines that non-public employee citizens are unfairly suffering as a result of prior legislatures’ mistakes.  HJTA was joined in its brief by the Ventura County Taxpayers Association.

HJTA President Jon Coupal stated that “pension obligations at the state and local level are ‘crowding out’ other public spending. As a result, schools, highways and public safety spending has been hurt. Pension reform is critical if California is to ever extricate itself from the ‘mountain of debt’ comprised mostly of unfunded pension obligations.” 

Coupal also applauded Governor Brown, whose legal office also filed a persuasive brief that explained why the unions’ inflexible position is wrong.

For more information, call HJTA at 916.444.9950. Link to filing