Brown: "As you see over here, it has 12 pretty simple steps..."
Then, he rattled each of them off, like requiring employees to work longer before earning retiree health care benefits; eliminating abuses like pension spiking and double-dipping; and increasing the retirement age for non-public safety employees from 55 to 67.
Brown: "People have to work longer. I can tell you that there's a lot of great years left in your 70s and 80s."
The more significant changes, like the hybrid and later retirement age, go further than most unions are comfortable with. But they'd only apply to future public employees - not current ones. Many critics of California's pension system believe that won't provide savings quickly enough to reduce what they call a half-trillion dollar unfunded liability. Brown believes his plan strikes a strong balance:
Brown: "I try to protect working people whenever I can. But I'm also responsible to the taxpayer, to making sure we have a solvent state government."
And Brown sent a not-so-subtle message to Democrats who might be reluctant to support broad changes their union allies don't like.
Brown: "I would say that the legislature is well-advised to take this very seriously, get it all enacted and get it on the ballot at November, when other things may be on that they're quite interested in."
Like, tax increases, for instance - something unions, Democrats and Governor Brown urgently want voters to approve next year.
The reactions to Governor Brown's plan to fix public pensions in California included praise, cautiously worded doubts, and out-and-out disagreement. Willie Pelote with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says he doesn't like the Governor's"hybrid" plan.
Pelote: "Instead of trying to say that we need to make sure people pay more you need to see what we've collectively bargained already at the state and local government level that brings millions of dollars back into the general funds of those government entities before you try to put more burden onto the backs of the workers."
But former GOP Assemblyman Roger Niello says current state employees must contribute more if pension reform is to pencil out. He's working on a pension proposal for the state ballot.
Niello: "Reasonable changes for current employees have got to be a portion of the deal in order for it to have a significant and relevant affect on costs in the near term."
Many GOP lawmakers praised the Governor's proposal. Republican Senator Bill Emmerson says he'll vote for it-as long as it isn't watered down.
Emmerson: "I wanna see the language. I wanna see how my colleagues in the legislature put up the votes so that we have the constitutional protections through a vote of the people to ensure that this historic issue isn't weakened."
Democratic legislative leaders were careful. State Assembly Speaker John Perez said lawmakers would work with the Governor to do right by taxpayers and public servants alike. Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg called the Governor's proposal a "provocative set of reforms."