The future health of California cities will not be affected by the veneer of pension reform the governor signed into law. The real issue centers on San Jose's Measure B, which reduces future benefits for current public employees. San Jose touched pensions for current employees because, officials there explain, as a charter city it is allowed to do so and the city's charter specifically sanctions pension reforms. In fact, charter cities have much latitude in how they reform public services.
Of course, poorly run, union-dominated charter cities can dig a deeper hole for themselves than non-charter cities, but reform in California will come at the city level, not from the Legislature. Here is a new report from an open-shop construction group that evaluates California cities based on their willingness to use the powers they have as charter cities to stretch the taxpayer dollar by circumventing the special privileges of organized labor, in this case involving prevailing wage requirements.