Brown says pension deal is the most he could get

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4A
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2012 - 7:52 am

Gov. Jerry Brown, who today will sign legislation reducing public employee pension benefits, said today that the measure is "the most that could be gotten" through his negotiations.

"What I got was the most that could be gotten," the Democratic governor said in an interview with the Bay Area News Group's editorial boards on Tuesday. "Is it enough? No."

The pension changes, approved by the Legislature despite opposition from labor unions and Republicans, will reduce benefits for future hires and require increased retirement contributions from current employees.

"It is very far-reaching pension reform relative to where we were," Brown said when a questioner suggested the changes were only minimal. "Let's get real here, folks. You're sitting around this table writing stories or thinking thoughts. I am in Sacramento. I've got to get things done."

Brown said, "I didn't say this was the end" of his effort to reduce pension costs. "This is a big ship," he said. "You turn it slowly. Our direction is getting better, that's all I can say."

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