Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said today that because of legislative inaction, he will seek a special election on whether new California state employees should be required to join a defined contribution plan, freezing entrance to existing defined benefit plans as of July 1, 2007. Two months after he called for public pension and other statewide reforms, the governor said in a press briefing that state legislators had not offered any counter-proposals, committee hearings or negotiations. Mr. Schwarzenegger said he will start collecting 600,000 voter signatures to put each proposal on a special state ballot.
In a press briefing, state Treasurer Phil Angelides said: "Today is a sad day for California because the governor has chosen to pick … fights with the teachers, firefighters and police officers who serve our communities." He said the pension reform proposal would slash benefits for future teachers in half.