RCRC has officially opposed Assembly Bill 1912 by Assembly Member Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona). AB 1912 seeks to apply joint several liabilities to all parties – both current and former – involved in a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) agreement.
Current law establishes various public agency retirement systems where each system provide defined pension benefits to public employees based on age, service credit, and amount of final compensation. The partnership between two or more local or state agencies allows JPAs to jointly address public needs and provide services by combining resources and reducing costs. JPAs are particularly useful for rural counties, as they allow for economies of scale and regional solutions for our communities.
AB 1912, among other provisions, specifies that if an agency to an existing or future JPA participates in a public retirement system, all parties, both current and former to the agreement, would be jointly and severally liable for all obligations to the retirement system. By applying joint several liability, debts would rise dramatically, and in many cases will exceed a county’s annual revenue. AB 1912 could have dire financial consequences for California’s rural counties that are already struggling to meet spiraling pension obligations. AB 1912 would open the door to significant liability on local governments, threaten the ability to use JPAs, and put hundreds JPAs over their debt limit.