Governor Pushes For Pension Reform

SACRAMENTO (KCBS/AP) – Governor Schwarzenegger said pension reform will save the state $100 billion over the next few decades in a news conference Friday morning. He said over the last ten years, pension costs have skyrocketed from $150 million to $3.8 billion, an increase of over 2,000 percent, according to the governor.

California lawmakers finally sent a financially shaky budget to the Governor early Friday, putting the state on track to start paying long-overdue bills, but likely punting the state’s deficit problems to the next governor.

Schwarzenegger complained state revenues had only increased 28 percent in the ten-year period that pensions have inflated.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“Here is pension spiking by about 2,000 percent. This is the first time that we have seen the pension cost higher than higher education,” said Schwarzenegger.

As a result, several programs including parks and recreation, K-12 education, and foster care have had to suffer, according to the governor.

“Pensions have become the silent thief of our Treasury,” he criticized.

Schwarzenegger helped negotiate Friday’s budget deal, which includes no new taxes or fees, and is likely to sign it quickly.

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