The Los Angeles Times recently credited a San Francisco initiative requiring that voters approve all pension benefits for the city’s flush pension system. At a time when governments around the state and country are dealing with massive pension deficits, the famously liberal and union-friendly city has been able to keep its fund healthy.

A similar initiative model after San Francisco’s was just approved by San Diego voters in November.

The article continues:

Why is San Francisco different? Politicians there can’t give much away; a century-old provision in the City Charter prohibits it. The only group empowered to enhance government benefits is the public, which must sign off on changes in the municipal pension plans at the ballot box.

The provision was unique to San Francisco until last month, when San Diego voters overwhelmingly decided that they too would like a say in such matters. Now the gospel of voter oversight is spreading.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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