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County Saves Money By Paying Less Into Pensions

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today approved two-year contract extension with unions representing its lawyers and supervising probation officers, who agreed to contribute more to their retirements.

The county will save "tens of millions of dollars in the long term" by not having to pay as much into its pension plans for workers, Supervisor Dianne Jacob said.

Combined with previous moves to lower costs for retiree health and creation of a less expensive plan for new employees, the county is expected to save about $2.2 billion over 20 years, she said.

The Board of Supervisors is taking "actions only being talked about in other jurisdictions," Jacob said.

Ten bargaining units have ratified the extensions, and a vote is pending for another.

The supervisors also gave unanimous final approval to amendments to its regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries, including the imposition of an $11,000 annual fee per shop to reimburse the county for inspections and oversight.

County staffers were told to return in six months with a report on whether the fee reflected the costs involved.

The supervisors also extended an emergency declaration because of the December rainstorm, an action required every 30 days.

The region suffered about $13 million of damage that is potentially eligible for state or federal assistance, according to county staffers.

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