LOS ANGELES - California lawmakers approved a plan to borrow up to $6 billion to prepay pension obligations.

Senate Bill 84 passed the California Senate by a 24-13 vote Monday after clearing the Assembly by a comfortable 69-4 margin June 22. The bill requires the Department of Finance to establish a schedule of payments in 2017-18 to borrow up to $6 billion from the state’s Surplus Money Investment Funds and make a supplemental employer contribution to the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund. The plan is designed to help reduce the underfunding of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, but drew the ire of critics who said the plan resembles pension obligation loans that have hurt localities in the past.

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