The State Worker

POLL: Will California’s public pension proposal go to voters?

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Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego city councilman and current radio talk show co-host, have a new ballot proposal that would constitutionally require that voters approve increases in compensation and retirement benefits for public employees.

Now the question becomes, will it even get to the electorate?

The proponents need 585,407 signatures from registered California voters to earn a place on the November 2016 ballot. Collecting those signatures would likely cost between $1 million and $2 million.

In a real sense, that will depend first on the language that Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris uses to describe the measure in voter materials. Once that’s issued, the proponents quickly run internal polls to see how it affects their chance of success. That, in turn, affects their ability to raise funds to collect signatures (and millions of dollars more to fight what would be an expensive campaign against public-sector unions).

Proponents of two prior measures claimed that Harris, who enjoys labor backing, crafted wording to bias voters against the proposals. Reed challenged Harris in court over language she used to describe his 2014 measure. He lost.

This time around, Reed and DeMaio filed earlier, they said, to build in more time for another court fight.

So what do you think? Will this new proposal go to a vote? Take our poll.

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