Wednesday
October
01
2014
3:11 am
Weather

  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

California sues to change transit worker pensions
October 05, 2013, 05:00 AM By Laura Olson The Associated

SACRAMENTO — California officials filed suit Friday against the U.S. Department of Labor, arguing that the federal agency cannot deny billions of dollars in mass transit money to the state based on pension reforms that lawmakers approved last year.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s office said in announcing the lawsuit that the Democratic governor wants to defend a 2012 law requiring state employees to contribute more to their pensions to ensure the retirement system remains viable.

Unions representing public transit workers had objected to the new pension requirements, arguing that a decades-old federal law prohibits such changes to their pensions outside of the collective bargaining process. Department of Labor officials ultimately agreed and refused to certify that California agencies were complying with federal statute.

That blocked at least $1.6 billion in U.S. Department of Transportation grants to California. The funds began flowing again when the state and federal governments struck a temporary deal.

The state’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, says the federal government’s position will prevent future legislatures from amending any law that affects the employment terms of transit workers.

“It will result in the loss of billions of dollars in federal funding to California transit providers and constitutes an arbitrary, capricious, and unconstitutional effort to coerce California to alter a pension reform law adopted for the benefit of California’s citizens and public employees,” the lawsuit states.

More than 80 California transit agencies, including the Sacramento Regional Transit District, which joined in the court challenge, depend on federal money for their operations and capital projects, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit argues that the recent changes in state law primarily affect new public employees while current employees only saw limited changes, comparing the approach to previous federal pension changes. It states that a range of retirement issues remain subject to collective bargaining.

Brown also announced that he signed legislation to keep federal money flowing while the state challenges the federal ruling. That measure, AB1222, Democratic Assemblymen Roger Dickinson of Sacramento and Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, temporarily exempts local transit agency workers from the pension changes.

The legislation expires at the end of 2014, but the provisions could become permanent if the judge sides with the Labor Department.

 

 

Tags: federal, transit, california, lawsuit, pension, state,


Other stories from today:

 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
What do you think of the new statewide plastic bag ban?

It's great, we need to get rid of them
Doesn't matter around here, they are already banned
Don't like it
Hope it starts a nationwide trend
Don't like it, but whatever

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
California becomes first state to ban plastic bags
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation imposing the nation's first statewide ..
EBay to split off lucrative PayPal business
NEW YORK — EBay is splitting off its fastest growing segment, payment service PayPal, the e-commer..
Obama, Modi say they will set new US-India agenda
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday that..
Hong Kong leader rejects protesters' demands
HONG KONG — Pro-democracy protesters demanded that Hong Kong's top leader meet with them, threaten..
White House front door now locks automatically
WASHINGTON — Secret Service Director Julia Pierson says the front door to the White House now lock..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
Half Moon Bay news