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    Senator Karnette's Execrable Vote, City Hall's Excellent Opposition, PT Editorial's Exclusions

    (March 28, 2003) -- This morning's Press-Telegram editorial page accuses two Orange County politicians (State Senator Joe Dunn and Assemblyman Lou Correa) of trying "to further inflate the already overblown pensions of public-safety employees. Ninety percent of final salary is not a big enough pension benefit; they want to increase it to 100 percent" with Senate Bill 100.

    "There is a limit," the PT fumed, adding the "pension-increase bill must be stopped."

    Very impressive...except that the PT didn't tell readers that LB's own State Senator, Betty Karnette, voted for the bill just days ago in a Senate Committee.

    And, according to the Senate Committee's legislative analysis, LB City Hall -- to its credit we believe -- opposes the bill.

    In other words, the PT simultaneously spared a LB incumbent from criticism and failed to credit City Hall when it did the right thing.

    We think LB readers have a right to know both.

    Some readers have asked what they can do to spread the word about Trust us, the word is spreading...but here's one way to help:

    We have free, snazzy bumper stickers that on your car will tell the world: "I know. I read" Just email us at, let us know your standard mailing address and we'll drop a couple in the mail to you.

    Putting one on your bumper will make you feel terrific and impress your neighbors, co-workers, family and friends.

    For the record, below is the legislative posting of Senator Karnette's vote, the Senate Committee's legislative analysis, and the verbatim text of SB 100.

    The bill failed in Committee but reconsideration was granted...meaning the bill can come up again (often after being amended or some other deal is cut).

    If and when SB 100 returns, we'll let you know what happens...including LB Senator Karnette's vote.

    MEASURE:	SB 100
    AUTHOR:	Dunn
    TOPIC:	Public employees' retirement:  local safety
    DATE:	03/24/2003
    LOCATION:	SEN. P.E. & R.
    MOTION:	Set, first hearing.  Failed passage in Committee.
            Reconsideration granted.
        	(AYES   2. NOES   2.)  (FAIL)
    Soto	Karnette
    Ashburn	Oller
    BILL ANALYSIS SENATE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT & RETIREMENT BILL NO: SB 100 Nell Soto, Chair Hearing date: March 24, 2003 SB 100 (Dunn) as introduced FISCAL: YES PERS: INCREASING THE LIMITATION ON LOCAL SAFETY MEMBERS' RETIREMENT BENEFITS FROM 90% TO 100% HISTORY : Sponsor: Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), California State Firefighters Association (CSFA) Prior legislation: SB 90 (Dunn) Chapter 796 of 2001 SUMMARY : Would increase the retirement benefit limit for local safety members of the State Public Employees' Retirement System from 90% to 100% of final compensation. BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS : 1) "3% at age 50" FORMULA Existing PERS law provides that most local safety members are covered by the "3% at age 50" formula. Under this retirement formula, a member with 30 years of service would receive a retirement benefit of 90% of final compensation (3% X 30 years of credited PERS-covered service = 90% of final compensation). 2) EXISTING PERS LOCAL SAFETY MEMBER BENEFIT LIMITS Existing PERS law provides following maximum retirement benefits for PERS local safety officers : a) for those who retired prior to January 1, 2000, the limit is 75% of final compensation, b) for those who retired between January 1, 2000, and January 1, 2002, the limit is 80% of final compensation, and c) for those who retired after January 1, 2002, the limit is currently 90% of final compensation. 3) THIS BILL This bill would provide that the benefit limit for PERS local safety members who retire after January 1, 2004, shall be 100% of final compensation. COMMENTS : 1) FISCAL EFFECT The cost of this bill is unknown at this time. The committee is advised that, in order to earn a retirement benefit of 100% of final compensation under the "3% at age 50" formula, a local safety member's service, combined with any credit for unused sick leave, must amount to at least 33 1/3 years of service (3% X 33 1/3 years of credited PERS-covered service = 100% of final compensation). 2) SUPPORT : Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs Anaheim Police Officers Association San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Association Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs' Association State Coalition of Probation Organizations California State Sheriffs' Association 3) OPPOSITION : League of California Cities California State Association of Counties City of Fountain Valley City of Riverside City of Garden Grove City of San Luis Obispo City of Tustin City of Walnut Creek City of Claremont City of Merced City of San Mateo City of Long Beach City of Montebello City of Sebastopol City of Fremont City of Paramount City of Salinas City of Signal Hill City of Vista
    BILL NUMBER: SB 100 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Senator Dunn (Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Correa) JANUARY 29, 2003 An act to amend Section 21390 of, and to add Section 21391 to, the Government Code, relating to public employees' retirement. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST SB 100, as introduced, Dunn. Public employees' retirement: local safety member benefits. Under the Public Employees' Retirement Law, service retirement benefits for local safety members who retire on or after January 1, 2002, may not exceed 90% of final compensation. This bill would increase this benefit limitation to 100% of final compensation for local safety members who retire on or after January 1, 2004. The bill would also make a technical change. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Section 21390 of the Government Code is amended to read: 21390. Notwithstanding Sections 21362, 21362.2, 21363, 21363.1, 21369, and 21370, and 21389, for local safety members who retire on or after January 1, 2002, and with respect to all local safety service rendered to a contracting agency that is subject to any of those sections, the benefit limit shall be 90 percent of final compensation. SEC. 2. Section 21391 is added to the Government Code, to read: 21391. Notwithstanding Sections 21362, 21362.2, 21363, 21363.1, 21369, 21370, and 21390, for local safety members who retire on or after January 1, 2004, and with respect to all local safety service rendered to a contracting agency that is subject to any of those sections, the benefit limit shall be 100 percent of final compensation.

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