Voters appear ready to embrace changes not just for future hires but also for current employees who have been promised the benefits under contract.
Seventy percent of respondents said they supported a cap on pensions for current and future public employees. Nearly as many, 68%, approved of raising the amount of money government workers should be required to contribute to their retirement. Increasing the age at which government employees may collect pensions was favored by 52%.
Although pension costs today account for just a fraction of the state budget, they are putting local governments under considerable financial strain, and analysts say effects on the state may not be far off.
“It’s pretty clear that there’s broad support for making changes in the area of pensions,” said Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who co-directed the bipartisan poll for The Times and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
But Scott Walker’s evil. Don’t forget that.
In all seriousness, congratulations to Californians for saying “enough is enough.” While it will not completely cure the state’s financial crisis, as the saying goes “every little helps.” If even a dark blue state like California can see the need for reform of public employee benefits it appears as though the public unions had better read and reread the writing on the wall.