Public Hospital CEO Pension Reform Makes Headway in California

California's Senate Governance and Finance Committee unanimously approved Assembly Bill 130, a bill proposed by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) that would prohibit public hospital districts in the state from paying pension benefits to the CEO prior to his or her retirement.

 

The bill will now head to state Senate for a full vote. AB 130 has already passed California's Assembly Health Committee and Assembly with bipartisan support, as well.

 

"This bill prevents pension double-dipping problems and overly generous retirement benefit promises," Mr. Alejo said in a news release. "It also improves the transparency and accountability for the policies that public entities have to manage the retirement benefits of their top executives."

 

Mr. Alejo has introduced several healthcare CEO compensation bills after his district's health system, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, awarded former CEO Sam Downing a $4.9 million retirement package in 2011. In addition, Mr. Downing received a severance package 18 times his average monthly salary and retained his $115,000-per-year pension — a situation cited as abusive by many within the district.

 

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