Mayor Reed’s State Pension Initiative May Get Delayed to 2016

A legal fight may keep San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s state public pension initiative off the November ballot now that proponents want to sue over the way California Attorney General Kamala Harris worded the ballot language.

“The ballot summary is just plain wrong,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, the initiative’s chief proponent, said in a statement. “It provides an inaccurate description of our initiative and misleads the voters as to what the measure does. The Attorney General’s Office has failed to meet its legal duty to give voters a ‘true and impartial’ summary of our initiative.”

Realistically, if the Pension Reform Act goes to voters it won’t be until 2016, he said.

“Every day that goes by is one less day to collect signatures,” Reed told the SacBee.

The challenge is expected to be filed in Sacramento Superior Court next week and may take a matter of weeks to sort out, which holds up signature-gathering.

Reed says the official description of the ballot measure was inaccurately worded by Harris’ office because it says the proposed reform “eliminates constitutional protections for vested pension and retiree healthcare benefits for current public employees, including teachers, nurses and peace officers, for future work performed.” Reed says it would only roll back pension benefits if bargaining falls through.

When the official language was released earlier this month, unions said they hated the wording, too, arguing that it didn’t reflect the goal of the measure to “slash the retirement benefits and retiree health care of current and future employees.”

Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Sigh. I just want to cry when I read this. Not content to ruin a once great city he is now focusing on the state. Whatever happen to being a visionary leader?

  2. Wow…where was the outcry over HIS wording of Measures V, W and B?  This guy is pathetic.  Sue-happy arrogant and mean.  Perfect representation of San Jose residents……NOT!

  3. What a joke, Chuck and his clown council is out of control.  Sad to say, if we vote another of this council in nothing will change, be careful what you wish for San Jose.  Your vote counts, all few hundred of you.  It is amazing how few in SJ even bother to vote.

  4. Make all the jests and jokes you want but;

    Never and I mean never-underestimate or discount Mayor Reed’s intellect, stamina and discipline on any issue he supports.

    David S. Wall

  5. It is absolutely hysterical that this Mayor , is pissing and moaning over the wordings for the Ballot .  The language that Kamala Harris uses for the the Ballot is accurate , and thats a problem for Reed . For a Mayor who ran on “open Government” and “sunshine reform”. he does an awful lot of his dealings in the shadows. This Mayor wants voters that are too lazy to educate themselves   on the topics facing this city and now state. he wants sheep to continue to follow him blindly. Im just wondering how many lawsuits this mayor and City can fight all at once. when will residents rise up and say enough? residents are the ones that will end up footing the bill for the Multiple lawsuits that Reed has got San Jose into.

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