SACRAMENTO (KCBS)— California’s State Legislature returned to work Monday from its summer recess with pension reform topping their agenda as well as hundreds of bills they still need to consider.

The two-year-long session is set to end at the end of August, and lawmakers have plenty of unfinished business to wrap up, including a long-promised reform of the state’s pension system.

Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders insist they will do an overhaul, but Steve Maviglio with Californians for Retirement Security, a coalition of more than a million union state workers, warns them not to go too far.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

“The voters certainly have an appetite for it, but I think lawmakers don’t have to respond to what polls say and want to do the right thing for the system,” he said.

Maviglio said the unions support eliminating abuse, but anything beyond that could mean they won’t help the Governor pass his tax plan, Proposition 30, on the ballot in November.

“It’s not a quid pro quo thing. It’s difficult when Democrats and a Democratic governor start to undermine the very things they were elected to do, including providing retirement security for millions of Californians,” Maviglio added.

Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway said the unions will try to block any meaningful pension reform, but stated the practicality of the session ahead of lawmakers.

“It’s everybody’s opportunity to…sit down and figure this out and do something to give the public trust that we actually work here in Sacramento,” Conway said.

The hundreds of unresolved bills that didn’t get done earlier this year must be resolved before the two-year session ends. There will also be hearings on the state parks’ secret $54 million stash.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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