Jerry Brown was sworn in as California’s new governor on Monday. In his inaugural speech, Brown said he would he oversee a review that could result in government workers losing some of their benefits and pensions.
Jerry Brown: "The budget I present next week will be painful, but it will be an honest budget. The items of spending will be matched with available tax revenues, and specific proposals will be offered to realign key functions that are currently spread between state and local government in ways that are complex, confusing and inefficient. My goal is to achieve greater accountability and reduce the historic shifting of responsibility back and forth from one level of government to another. The plan represents my best understanding of our real dilemmas and possibilities. It’s a tough budget for tough times."
In New York, the state’s new governor Andrew Cuomo is preparing to call for a one-year salary freeze for state workers. The moves by Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo are seen as part of a growing push across the country to limit the power of labor unions, particularly those representing government workers. The New York Times reports Republican lawmakers in Indiana, Maine, Missouri and seven other states plan to introduce legislation that would bar private-sector unions from forcing workers they represent to pay dues or fees, reducing the flow of funds into union treasuries. In Ohio, the new Republican governor John Kasich wants to ban strikes by public school teachers. Wisconsin’s new governor Scott Walker is threatening to take away government workers’ right to form unions and bargain contracts.