money.jpgA state senator and assemblywoman have joined a coalition of politicians who oppose a controversial San Francisco budget reform measure on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, are raising concerns about Proposition B, a measure that would increase both the health care and pension contributions of some 26,000 city workers.

The measure, proposed by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, has drawn the opposition of labor groups that claim the measure’s proposed increase to city workers’ dependent health care contributions is unfair to working families.

Leno said in a phone interview this morning that the measure is inherently flawed.

“It’s really a stake in the heart of collective bargaining,” he said. “Benefits that are negotiated can only be reversed through further negotiation, otherwise there is no good-faith bargaining.”

Adachi has said Proposition B could save the city–which had to close a $482 million deficit this year and faces another $400 million deficit next year–about $120 million annually.

“It don’t believe there will many, if any, cost savings,” Leno asserted. “There will only be cost shifts.”

Leno said that if workers are unable to pay for their children’s health care, visits to the county hospital and the emergency room will increase.

“I’d say it’s a simple-minded, one-dimensional idea, in a complex, three-dimensional world,” Leno said.

Leno and Ma are scheduled to speak against the measure at a noon event today at Laguna Honda Hospital, along with supervisors David Chiu, Ross Mirkarimi and Carmen Chu.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Assemblywoman Tom Ammiano have also signed on in opposition.

Proposition B campaign spokeswoman Darcy Brown has said some elected officials oppose the measure because they need the political support of labor unions.

Former Mayor Willie Brown and former Supervisor Matt Gonzalez have come out in support of Proposition B.

Ari Burack, Bay City News

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  • Seej

    Is there a single journalist in San Francisco who will ask any of these opponents like Leno how much campaign money they have taken from organized labor over the last five years? The answer is in the hundreds of thousands I gather.

    Adachi doesn’t “say $120 million.” That figure is from the Controller’s office. Maybe Leno has been celebrating the reduction in penalty of marijuana use to an infraction….

  • Seej

    Is there a single journalist in San Francisco who will ask any of these opponents like Leno how much campaign money they have taken from organized labor over the last five years? The answer is in the hundreds of thousands I gather.

    Adachi doesn’t “say $120 million.” That figure is from the Controller’s office. Maybe Leno has been celebrating the reduction in penalty of marijuana use to an infraction….

  • HonestAbe

    city workers have already promised to pay their own retirement contributions in full, which is to commence July 01, 2011 [nine (9) months from now]. they did this when they ratified their most recent contract earlier this year.  it should be noted that regarding pension reform and prop b; very little money will be saved by forcing city workers to contribute their fair share a mere six [6] months prior to schedule.  So apparently then, the “big savings” hoped for by passing such a brilliantly thought out piece of agenda must come from the lesser emphasized “healthcare” component of this poorly thought out piece of written scapegoating and bullying.  in exchange for continued health care provisions to children or other needy legal dependant of the hard working city employee, the wealthy authors along with greedy bankroller venture capitalist-billionaire backers of this divisive proposition have opted to use this “hidden” aspect to boost their “savings” figure which they shamelessly tout knowing full well that such drastic cuts will not only displace the most vulnerable, namely children and retirees needing healthcare who cannot otherwise afford it but to also undermine the overall universal healthcare concept, which most San Franciscans recognize as smart and cost effective  –all in an effort to gain a certain amount of esteem and notoriety for its author to run as a mayoral candidate in the 2011 local election with the support of the powerful wealthy.  people, please see this for what it is and not for what it is not!  cuts to preventive healthcare at minimal savings to the city fund will end up costing us tax payers double, triple and quadruple -when urgent care and emergency room services at the medical industry’s skyrocketing rates and exuberant costs and fees are factored in as the only remaining viable options for those no longer able to qualify for any other type of reasonably priced medical coverage!  please vote NO on B.

  • HonestAbe

    city workers have already promised to pay their own retirement contributions in full, which is to commence July 01, 2011 [nine (9) months from now]. they did this when they ratified their most recent contract earlier this year.  it should be noted that regarding pension reform and prop b; very little money will be saved by forcing city workers to contribute their fair share a mere six [6] months prior to schedule.  So apparently then, the “big savings” hoped for by passing such a brilliantly thought out piece of agenda must come from the lesser emphasized “healthcare” component of this poorly thought out piece of written scapegoating and bullying.  in exchange for continued health care provisions to children or other needy legal dependant of the hard working city employee, the wealthy authors along with greedy bankroller venture capitalist-billionaire backers of this divisive proposition have opted to use this “hidden” aspect to boost their “savings” figure which they shamelessly tout knowing full well that such drastic cuts will not only displace the most vulnerable, namely children and retirees needing healthcare who cannot otherwise afford it but to also undermine the overall universal healthcare concept, which most San Franciscans recognize as smart and cost effective  –all in an effort to gain a certain amount of esteem and notoriety for its author to run as a mayoral candidate in the 2011 local election with the support of the powerful wealthy.  people, please see this for what it is and not for what it is not!  cuts to preventive healthcare at minimal savings to the city fund will end up costing us tax payers double, triple and quadruple -when urgent care and emergency room services at the medical industry’s skyrocketing rates and exuberant costs and fees are factored in as the only remaining viable options for those no longer able to qualify for any other type of reasonably priced medical coverage!  please vote NO on B.