Political Landscape: State Sen. Moorlach proposes cost-of-living limit on state pension systems

State Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) has introduced a bill that could limit cost-of-living adjustments for state pensions.
(File Photo)

State Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) has introduced a bill he contends will reduce the future taxpayer burden to fund the state system while also protecting pensioners’ vested funds.

Senate Bill 1031, introduced Thursday, would limit the pension system from making any cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments after Jan. 1, 2019, if the unfunded actuarial liability of the system is greater than 20%.

“It would protect the solvency of public-employee pensions by making sure each yearly COLA ... isn’t so large it tips the underlying fund into insolvency,” Moorlach said in a statement. “If a pension system is funded at less than 80%, then the COLA would be suspended until the funding status recovers.

“The requirement would prod pension boards and policymakers to ensure pensions are adequately funded and don’t end up being cut sharply in an emergency, as happened recently to Detroit’s pensions. Not just taxpayers, but state employees and retirees should be the biggest supporters of Senate Bill 1031.”

Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018-19 sets aside $9.3 billion for pensions, with $6.2 billion toward the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and nearly $3.1 billion to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).

The CalPERS funding is $389 million more than last year.

District attorney candidate to address Newport Beach Women’s Democratic Club

The Newport Beach Women’s Democratic Club will host Orange County district attorney candidate Brett Murdock at its monthly meeting Feb. 20 at the Oasis Senior Center in Corona del Mar.

Murdock, a Democrat and former mayor of Brea, will discuss his campaign and platform.

Local attorney Brandon Love will speak about the role of county governance.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for networking and light refreshments in Room 1 at the senior center, 801 Narcissus Ave. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

Admission for club members is free with RSVP and $10 without. The cost for non-members is $10 with RSVP and $15 without.

For more information and to RSVP, visit or call (949) 423-6468.


11:10 a.m. Feb. 13: This article was updated with the Women’s Democratic Club item.

This article was originally published at 3:15 p.m. Feb. 12.