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GOP Senators Want Special Session on Pensions

Aired 11/9/11 on KPBS News.

A group of Republican State Senators say Democratic Governor Jerry Brown should call a special legislative session to overhaul California's pension system.

Republican Senators Tom Berryhill (left), Mimi Walters (at podium), Bob Dutton and Tom Harman call for a special session on California's pension system at a Capitol news conference Wednesday.
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Above: Republican Senators Tom Berryhill (left), Mimi Walters (at podium), Bob Dutton and Tom Harman call for a special session on California's pension system at a Capitol news conference Wednesday.

The GOP senators don't praise Governor Brown often. But they do like his twelve point pension plan released late last month. That plan includes raising the retirement age and increasing employee contributions.

The senators don't like a new recommendation from California's non-partisan legislative analyst. That report said the state's pension system is so complex that the legislature should "take several months" to "get the details right." Senate Minority Leader Bob Dutton said it's time for action now.

"The governor has done a lot of work himself,” said Dutton. “And I think we have enough things in process right now that yes, I think we can move fairly quickly - if we make this the focus point of the session."

The governor's press secretary says Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are making pension reform a priority and will address the issue when the legislature reconvenes in January.

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