San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has been talking up a proposed ballot measure on California’s public pensions, and proponents appear poised to take the next step.
“I hope we’ll be in the position of filing for the title and summary in a few days,” Reed said Wednesday at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
State law requires the Attorney General’s Office to prepare the official title and summary of a proposed initiative before backers may collect petition signatures to place the issue before voters.
Reed, a Democrat, has been recruiting support for months for altering California’s constitution so that state and local governments may lower pensions prospectively for current employees while keeping their earned benefits intact.
Prevailing legal wisdom says that retirement promises to current employees are constitutionally protected.
Unions are testing that theory in court, challenging a voter-approved rollback for San Jose city employees, which Reed promoted.
Experts figure Reed will need $2 million to $4 million to collect the petition signatures required to qualify the measure for the November 2014 ballot.