A group of current and former local government officials in California unveiled a proposal on Thursday for a November 2016 ballot initiative changing how state and local government employee compensation and benefits are determined.
Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio introduced the proposal in a conference call. Mr. DeMaio said the bipartisan coalition has “been frustrated by state law that has prevented us from implementing common-sense solutions in our own local communities.”
The ballot initiative proposes to require voter approval of any defined benefit plan for new government employees; voter approval for any increases in compensation and benefits; the prohibition of any taxpayer subsidies of more than 50% of the cost of compensation and benefits; and the prevention of impediments, delays or challenges of approved state and local ballot measures.
The coalition in a news release cites “public employee pension debt” in California rising to $198 billion in 2013 from $6.3 billion in 2003 as a main reason for the ballot initiative proposal.