Federal and state deficits are at an all time high while the economy is experiencing a significant downturn. California is not exempt from the economic situation and budget reform has been a hot topic in the gubernatorial race. Amidst the political swirl of debate, public employees are asked to aid in the budget reform.
Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor has stated that if he were to be elected governor, he would be asking labor leaders to “put everything on the table” and make compromises. One of the compromises that he mentioned was cutting pension benefits for state employees.
The gubernatorial candidate has felt the pressures of budget reform and although generally supported by members of the labor union, he admitted in a recent speech that in order to fix the budget crisis, he is “going to have to do some things that organized labor doesn't like. Everybody's got to get outside their comfort zone.” Brown reminded voters that in his previous terms he “vetoed pay raises for the state employees not once, but twice.” He cautioned employees that if they did not contribute to the pension system, that the only alternative to pay for the system would be to increase layoffs or decrease salaries.
“If you're looking for frugality, I'm your man,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. The candidate professes honesty with the people. If elected, he promises that he would release his budget plan earlier than any other previous governor would and that he would not institute any new taxes unless the public voted for them.
Jerry Brown's gubernatorial opponent, Meg Whitman also plans to get the budget under control by effecting changes that would involve state employees and the labor union.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle “Jerry Brown says he'd be a frugal governor” Carla Marinucci 9/4/10