LOS ANGELES - San Jose, Calif. Mayor Chuck Reed said his pension reform initiative wouldn't be going on the November 2014 state ballot after a judge denied his challenge to the ballot summary.
In January, Reed and other proponents of the Pension Reform Act of 2014 filed a legal challenge to the wording of the ballot summary published by Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner denied the challenge Friday morning, saying in a tentative ruling that he finds "nothing false or misleading" about how Harris described Reed's measure.
"I am disappointed that the court declined to correct the inaccurate and misleading summary produced by the Attorney General," Reed said in a statement Friday. "Our proposed initiative protects the benefits that employees earn as work is performed, while allowing government leaders and their employees to negotiate over changes to future accrued benefits once labor contracts expire. Yet, the initiative summary does not make this critical point clear."
Given that mid-April is the Secretary of State's recommended deadline for submitting signatures in order to make the November ballot, Reed said he and other proponents have decided it is not feasible to make the 2014 ballot.
Harris, charged with writing the title and 100-word summary for all ballot measures, released the summary earlier in January, drawing criticism from both supporters and opponents.
Backers of the measure said the lead sentence, which states that the initiative eliminates constitutional protections for vested pension and retiree healthcare benefits for public employees, is simply wrong.
Opponents of the measure also took issue with the wording, saying it does not convey to voters exactly how their retirement security would be put at risk.
Despite the setback, Reed said he will continue pushing the initiative, targeting the 2016 election cycle for the proposed pension reform initiative.