Monday Must Read: Voters Want More Concessions from Public Employee Unions; Brown Defends Sweetheart Deal with Prison Guards

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A large majority of Californians want public employees to give up some of their retirement benefits to help ease the state’s budget deficit, according to a new Los Angeles Times-USC poll. Seventy percent of respondents said they favor a cap on pension benefits for current and future government workers. And 68 percent said they want public employees to contribute more to their retirement plans. Fifty-two percent support raising the age in which public employees can retire.

2. The new poll comes at a time when Governor Jerry Brown is trying to defend tentative deals with the California prison guards and other state unions that do little to solve the current budget crisis. Brown told the Chron that the pact his administration struck with the 30,000-member prison guards’ union was a “good deal,” even though it will save the state $129 million less than his budget had promised. Brown, who depended heavily on the prison guards and other public-employee unions to get elected, needs two Republican votes in both houses of the legislature to get the pacts approved.

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