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Backers of California pension overhaul change ballot language to focus on new hires


SACRAMENTO, California — Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to cut pension spending for California state and local government employees are starting over.

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio said Monday that they are dropping a measure proposed in June because state Attorney General Kamala Harris's summary says current employees would lose constitutionally protected vested pension benefits. Backers say that wasn't their intent but they unveiled two new measures that they say focuses on new hires.

Reed says backers can begin collecting signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot after Harris issues her summary, which appears on the ballot. He says backers will settle on only one of two measures after considering options with financial supporters.

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