SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Less than a week after Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced a sweeping 12-point plan for pension reform, commentators and editorial boards in both state and national media have expressed strong support for it.

Below are links to some of the editorials and commentaries in favor of Governor Brown’s plan.

Wall Street Journal: Jerry Brown’s ‘Nixon to China’ moment on retirement age

“Whatever the plan’s fate in California, most states’ finances would be well served if the Brown proposals were emulated. We are witnessing a ‘Nixon to China’ moment as Democratic governors embrace the need to amend and reduce health and retirement benefits of public employees (see New York). It remains to be seen whether these Democratic governors have more sway than their more conservative Republican counterparts when it comes to taking away benefits from public sector union members.”

Sacramento Bee, Modesto Bee and Fresno Bee Editorial: Brown delivers on pension reform

“Gov. Jerry Brown has delivered on his campaign promise to tackle pension reform. The plan he put forward last week is bold and comprehensive. It is also politically risky…Despite the risk, Brown must not relent. The chronic funding crisis that state and local governments face cannot be resolved without reducing pension obligations.”

San Francisco Chronicle Editorial: Gov. Brown’s solid start on pension reform

“Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension reform ideas are a throwdown challenge to all the players at the table. How far are labor, pension critics and politicians willing to go to solve a financial and political problem that can’t be ignored any longer? Brown’s sweeping 12-point plan should worry all sides—a sure sign of both its reach and potential worth.”

San Diego Union Tribune: Brown’s break with pension status quo

“Brown can achieve some of his proposals through legislative action, while much of the plan will require voter approval…This editorial page has long hoped for this sort of bold leadership from the governor. It harbors great promise to help not just state finances but those local governments that are often in much worse shape than the state. Good for Jerry Brown. California will be better off if he succeeds.”

Los Angeles Times Op-Ed: Support Brown’s pension plan,0,7172321.story

Author: Marcia Fritz, member of the Government Accounting Standards Board Pension Committee and president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility
“One way or another, California will get public pension reform. When the governor and every expert who has looked at the books use the word ‘unsustainable’ to describe California’s public pension systems, they’re not kidding. If the Legislature doesn’t fix pensions, the voters will have their chance. And if that doesn’t work, the bankruptcy courts may have to do the job…Pension reform won’t solve all of our fiscal problems, but it’s a giant step in the right direction. The governor’s plan is an opportunity for public employees to take that step in unison with taxpayers.”

Los Angeles Times: A starting point on pensions,0,394461.story

“Gov. Jerry Brown has sketched a promising outline to curb public-employee retirement costs. Its workability depends on the details…Brown’s proposal drew praise from several top Republicans in the Legislature but an immediate denunciation from a union coalition and wary responses from leading Democrats. So its prospects are uncertain at best. But the proposal addresses some of the inherent flaws in the current system, and the Legislature should take it seriously.”

Riverside Press Enterprise: Pension sanity

“California cannot afford to let escalating pension costs drain public coffers. Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension reform proposals offer a good start on changes to the state’s costly public retirement benefits…Brown’s proposals are not complete, of course; and he only partially addresses the massive state liability for retiree health benefits. Still, the governor’s plans offer a solid start on creating a better system — one that supports retirees without bankrupting taxpayers and public services.”

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Brown’s sensible pension plan

“On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown presented his own theses — 12 in all — identifying the problems and potential solutions to the growing public employee pension crisis. It remains to be seen whether the politics surrounding this issue will allow his plan to be a catalyst for any kind of policy reformation. But on matters of principle and common sense, it’s fair to say the governor nailed it.”

Daily Pilot Editorial: Brown’s pension reforms a good starting point

“Gov. Jerry Brown deserves a nod for proposing moderate reforms to California’s public pension system. And because his 12-point plan is essentially an opening offer to the legislators and voters who would need to approve his proposals, we’d like to ask the governor to consider even greater reforms before this thing gets watered down (or drowns) in the Sacramento Delta.”

North County Times: Necessary reform

“Despite the gloom-and-doom response from the public employee unions, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed pension reforms (introduced last week) are a modest first step in restructuring out-of-control retirement costs. It provides a useful starting point as California readies for another brutal budget year.”

Thomas D. Elias: Brown’s pension and prison reforms reflect his independent streak

“Brown’s latest such moment came when he proposed a package of public employee pension changes the state Legislature’s big Democratic majorities would automatically reject if it had come from a Republican. Even coming from a Democratic governor, Brown’s plan has drawn skepticism from legislative leaders…Brown’s pension plan falls far short of the ideal for both unionists and the conservatives who like to blame them for many ills. But there’s no doubt it will help ease the state’s financial troubles. So one question now is how many legislators will let the perfect become the enemy of the good.”

Monterey County Herald: Editorial: Brown’s pension plan heads off worse reform

“For one of the best reasons government workers and union activists should not oppose Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension reform plan, consider the proposed ballot measure to end collective bargaining for teachers, police officers and other public employees in California. The End Public Sector Bargaining Act is similar to the Wisconsin law that produced outrage from the labor side of the aisle. It is sponsored by a UC Santa Barbara economics lecturer who admires free market economists such as Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek and who considers public employees widely overpaid…The truth is that it will be a difficult task politically to get even part of his proposals enacted. A more sweeping reform effort might make for better political theater, but can’t we agree for now that the governor’s plan is a good start?”

Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce: Gov. Brown’s pension reform deserves vigorous support

“Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown released a forward-looking pension reform plan that will apply to current and future public employees, including state, local and school employees. His 12-point plan is aggressive and comprehensive, and deserves the support of the taxpayers and the state Legislature. It acknowledges the runaway and unsustainable costs of public employee pensions that have been staring the state in the face for far too long and can no longer be ignored…The business community wants a public pension system that is fair to public employees and the rest of hardworking Californians as well. We want a transparent, honest calculation of benefits without gimmicks and loopholes, and a system that does not put the state budget in a deeper fiscal crisis. Gov. Brown has provided a plan. He needs your support today.”

Merced Sun Star: Our view: Brown’s pension plan is a start

“The majority of the proposed provisions provide a solid blueprint for needed reform. Gov. Jerry Brown has delivered on his campaign promise to tackle pension reform. The plan he put forward last week is bold and comprehensive. It is also politically risky…Taxpayers and union workers both have a stake in fair pension reform. Brown has provided a good blueprint to make that happen.”

The Bakersfield Californian: Brown’s plan best hope for pension reform

“We find it hard to quibble with anything in the 12-point pension reform plan Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled this week. It eliminates controversial practices such as pension spiking and ‘air time,’ which is the buying of extra years of service not actually worked. For new hires, Brown’s plan increases the retirement age from 55 to 67 (except for public safety workers) and implements a hybrid pension with a 401(k) component that reduces governments’ financial exposure. New and current employees will also have to contribute half the costs of their plans, and limits would be placed on the ability of public workers to retire, collect a pension and then go back to work for the state.”

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Bold plan on pensions by Brown

“Brown’s proposals, if adopted, would be a major step out of the current mess. As unions and legislators line up against the governor’s plan, they should also think about how they’ll persuade voters to approve tax hikes. Because, without meaningful pension reform, it will be impossible.”