There is an interesting case before the California on the issue of whether that state’s pension benefits are guaranteed. The Sacramento Bee reports here.
The State’s argument:
“Neither the U.S. Constitution nor the California Constitution requires the state to mismanage its affairs and continue a broken system for decades, even after the state has concluded the program is severely (if not fatally) flawed and cannot be implemented as originally intended.”
The case is a prelude to harder questions down the road for California and other states:
“When the next recession comes around, the governor will have the option of considering pension cutbacks for the first time in a long time,” ….
Pensions costs are climbing because CalPERS is billing cities more money to pay down its debts. The pension fund in 2016 acknowledged it expected to earn less money over time from its investment portfolio and made a corresponding hike in the rates it charges to its members.
Some government executives now contend those costs are “crowding out” their ability to fund basic services.
“Vital services are at risk,” the League of California Cities wrote in a brief supporting Brown in the pension case.
Tough choices. No easy solutions. That’s a bad recipe for today’s political world.