The city of San Bernadino, rushing in where Stockton fears to tread, has skipped payments to CalPERS, the state employe retirement system.
That’s just not done. “It raises significant questions about whether cities can use their financial problems to justify getting out of their obligations to the powerful pension fund,” the SacBee writes here.
CalPERS asserts its pensions are sacrosanct. And under state law, they probably are. But federal law supersedes state law. And insolvency supersedes everything. As a bankruptcy attorney says elsewhere in the story, “If you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money.”