Assembly Democrats are ready to look for ways to pay down the unfunded liability of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. The governor’s office puts the debt at more than $80 billion.
Speaker John Perez said the Assembly will begin hearings on the issue.
“We gotta look at the actuarial information, bring people in," he said. "As the market continues to improve the level of underfunding goes down. But we know that in of itself won’t be the solution. So we have to look at what the range of those things are.”
Perez said the solution must involve increased contributions from the state, school districts and teachers.
Autumn Carter is Executive Director of California Common Sense, a government transparency group. She said hearings are a good first step.
“But we can’t ignore that fact that securing CalSTRS will mean setting aside an additional $4.5 billion to that unfunded liability every year for the next three decades," she said. "Anything significantly less than that is like trying to hammer a nail with a toothpick.”
Carter said the CalSTRS unfunded liability has been a growing concern the past decade and is currently increasing by $22 million a day.
Governor Jerry Brown had proposed working on a solution next year, but, in a statement, his department of finance said Brown will work with the legislature during this session.