California Professional Firefighters

Ventura Co. Judge Invalidates Local Anti-Pension Initiative

Ventura County firefighters and public workers are praising a judge's has ruled that a county initiative eliminating defined-benefit pensions violates state law and should be removed from the November ballot.

In a formal ruling handed up Monday, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kent Kellegrew said that the proposed "Measure L" sought to create a new state law where none existed, a violation of the state constitution and government code.

Measure L would have eliminated a county-wide pension system established by state law and replaced it with a privatized system, even eliminating defined benefit pensions for survivors of fallen firefighters and police officers.

WATCH: CPF Firevision -- Ventura County Pension Attack

"There is nothing within (the law) that provides for withdrawal by an accepting county from the act," Kellegrew wrote in a two-page ruling.

The measure, which is backed by anti-pension ideologues like the Koch Brothers and billionaire venture capitalist John Arnold, also sought to limit pensionable compensation and impose new restrictions on existing participants. Kellegrew said that provision also violated the state Constitution's single-subject rule for ballot measures.


After the judge's decision, Chris Mahon, president of Ventura County Professional Firefighters Local 1364, thanked CPF and its affiliated locals for their support in the fight.

This afternoon a Ventura County superior court judge issued an injunction removing the Ventura County pension initiative from the ballot. As you know the just named "measure L" called for moving all new employees into a 401k style DC plan while simultaneously limiting pensionable compensation for new employees for 5 years.

While an appeal is very possible, and we may yet have to fight this at the ballot box I want to take this opportunity to thank you, the CPF staff and board. The incredible work of the political and communications staff as well as Firestar has truly made the difference in this battle. It is hard to express just how much that support has meant to us and what a difference it has made to the campaign. Along with the many locals that have expressed and provided outstanding support throughout this battle, CPF's help has sustained us through the fight.

Chris Mahon
President, IAFF Local 1364

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