San Jose Pension Reform, Measure B (June 2012)
According to a 2010 audit by the city, the amount that the city pays every year for the retirement plans of its retired workers has risen from $73 million in 2001 to $245 million in 2011. Over the last two decades, the amount paid by the city in total pension benefit payments has grown sevenfold. The amount that is paid out of the account every year has been exceeding the amount paid in for over 10 years. The city's 2010 audit also says that the city is about $2 billion short of the amount that should be in the account to pay for future benefits.,
- Chuck Reed, San Jose's mayor, is a leading supporter of the pension reform measure. He began advocating for pension reform in the city in early 2011. Scott Herhold, a Mercury News columnist, says, "Make no mistake: The proposal that San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed unveiled...to curtail retirement and health benefits for city employees will define his mayoral career."
- Jeff Cristina, director of Environmental Services at GreenWaste Recovery in San Jose, supports the measure.
- County Assessor Larry Stone says he supports the measure because "We need significant reform, not just incremental reform. Why? Because the current system is unsustainable."
The measure is opposed by the city's public sector employee unions. In a statement released by five unions after the vote to place the measure on the June ballot, the unions said, "the mayor and his supporters scored some political points today, but only time will tell what the ultimate cost to our city will be."
Path to the ballot
The San Jose City Council voted to place the measure on the June 5, 2012 ballot in a meeting on March 6, 2012. The vote was 8-3.
Chuck Reed, Pete Constant, Pierluigi Oliverio, Madison Nguyen, Sam Liccardo, Rose Herrera, Donald Rocha and Nancy Pyle voted in favor of placing the measure on the ballot.
Ash Kalra, Kansen Chu and Xavier Campos voted against placing the measure on the ballot.