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State of the State Reax: Democrats Split on Pensions

Aired 1/18/12 on KPBS News.

Democrats generally praised the governor’s speech, but they aren’t all falling into step with his call to overhaul the state’s pension system.

Democrats generally praised the governor's speech, but they aren't all falling into step with his call to overhaul the state's pension system.

Lawmakers like Assemblyman Bill Monning and Senator Ted Lieu said they do believe California needs some pension reform, but they're not ready to back Brown's plan.

"It's subject to our continued negotiations," said Monning.

"He said, take my plan and make it better - and I believe that's what the legislature is going to do," said Lieu.

But Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, who's also a Democrat, supports many of the governor's proposals.

"People are living longer. They're able to work longer. During these tough fiscal times, we need to all give back a little bit," said Ma.

Republicans said they'll vote for the governor's plan - but they don't think Democrats will buck their union allies and support it as well.

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