Sacramento Bee editorial pushes for Senate Bill 919, which would rein in the state's public employee pension system. The measure is not draconian - it would raise the retirement age for most new judicial, legislative, state college and school employees from 55 to 65. Retirement age for cops, firefighters and prison guards would be raised from 50 to 57. But don't get your hopes up:
Union leaders insist that any change in pension or retiree health benefits must go through collective bargaining, not be imposed by the Legislature. Of course, no unions complained when the Legislature unilaterally raised pension benefits in 1999. Sen. Dave Cox, a Fair Oaks Republican and a member of the committee that heard the bill, says he'll vote for it. But he believes it doesn't have a chance to pass. "Labor has such a stranglehold on the majority party," Cox said. Sadly, Cox is probably right. Democrats depend on labor unions to bankroll their political campaigns.