As we reported last night, the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility on Thursday re-filed proposed ballot measures that would create a mandatory second-tier pension system for new public employees hired by the state, counties, cities and other non-federal government agencies in California.
The group put forward a similar measure in 2007, but it didn't have the financial support to gather enough signatures to qualify for a statewide vote. Foundation President Marcia Fritz figures it will take $2 million to gather the 1 million signatures needed to get the initiative before voters in the November 2010 election. She said no well-financed backer has stepped forward with a big check.
In a telephone interview this morning, Fritz outlined a strategy that includes an aggressive Web-based signature-gathering campaign and a push to get 2010 gubernatorial candidates such as Meg Whitman to take up the cause.
"We hope that the candidates will step up and help us raise money," Fritz said. "It would give us exposure and give them an issue to talk about."
Fritz, who runs an accounting firm in Citrus Heights, estimates the savings from the foundation's benefit rollback for new hires would save California $1 billion in pension costs one year after taking effect on June 30, 2011.
Some features of the plan: