Governor Vetoes Pay Reform Bills

As I posted earlier (link), only 2 of the 6 bills that comprised the Legislature’s response to the City of Bell salary scandal passed the Legislature. Those two bills were AB 194 and AB 827. On September 30, the Governor vetoed both bills with the following veto messages:

AB 194 Veto Message:

To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 194 without my signature.  The bill limits the salary that retirement benefits are based on for individuals, prospectively after January 1, 2011, to 125% of the Governor’s salary, as specified.  The current compensation limit imposed by the federal government to determine public employee retirement benefits is $245,000. Currently, this bill would cap the compensation counted towards retirement at $217,483. While this two tiered cap that would be created by this bill would make a very small dent in the pension problem California faces, it cannot be considered real pension reform. I am still hopeful that the Legislature will pass an acceptable bill that addresses the real cost issues that have driven up the liability in public pension systems.

For these reasons, I am unable to sign this bill.

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

AB 827 Veto Message:

To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 827 without my signature.  The scandal with the City of Bell was a disgraceful use of public funds. I share the public outrage expressed over the abuses attributed to the City of Bell’s management of employee contracts. Assembly Bill 827 presents good public policy in that it provides transparency with regards to some municipal personnel contracts, but it should be applied to all public employees, including labor union members and state employees. I encourage the Legislature to enact thoughtful and meaningful solutions rather than a rushed proposal that is severely limited in its application.

For this reason I cannot sign this bill.

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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