League of Women Voters of California
Charter Amendment B
Modification to Fire and Police Pension Plans to Permit the Reactivation of Surviving Spouse Benefits to Widows and Widowers of Firefighters and Police Officers who Remarried Prior to December 5, 1996.
City of Los Angeles
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
Shall the Charter be amended to enable the City Council of the City of Los Angeles to enact an ordinance to allow reactivation of surviving spouse benefits to widows and widowers of firefighters and police officers who had their benefits taken away solely because they remarried prior to December 5, 1996?
In 1996, voters of the City of Los Angeles adopted Charter Amendment D which changed the definition of a "qualified surviving spouse" to allow widows and widowers of firefighters and police officers who remarry to continue collecting benefits. Surviving spouses who remarried prior to December 5, 1996 were not covered by Charter Amendment D.
This proposed Charter amendment would allow the City, by ordinance, to provide pension benefits to those widows and widowers of firefighters and police officers who remarried before December 5, 1996. These benefits will become effective on the date that this proposed Charter amendment passes.
In a Special Municipal Election conducted on November 5, 1996, voters of the City of Los Angeles approved Charter Amendment D which changed the definition of a "qualified surviving spouse" to allow a widow or widower of a deceased police officer or firefighter to continue collecting pension benefits afforded to their deceased spouse even after the widow or widower remarried. However, the language of Charter Amendment D excluded surviving spouses of police officers and firefighters who remarried prior to December 5, 1996, thereby making them ineligible to collect pension benefits.
This measure would provide that a widow or widower of a deceased police
officer or firefighter who remarried prior to December 5, 1996 would
receive the pension benefits that are afforded to surviving spouses of
deceased police officers and firefighters who remarried after December 5,
|Arguments For Charter Amendment B|
Your YES Vote on Charter Amendment B will end the
unjust and harmful discrimination against surviving spouses and children
of deceased police officers and firefighters, including those killed in
the line of duty.
Voters amended the charter in 1996 to allow the surviving spouses of firefighters and police officers to remarry without losing all of their pension benefits. But the change did not apply to surviving spouses who had already remarried. These people forfeited their pension benefits so they could start their lives over again.
The surviving spouse of a deceased firefighter or police officer should not be punished for choosing to remarry.
Charter Amendment B will end this injustice. It will allow those who remarried before the 1996 Charter change to receive the benefits their deceased spouse earned through their dedicated public service to the City.
Your YES vote on Charter Amendment B will rectify this omission and show that we care for the families of our courageous men and women in uniform.
Richard J. Riordan Mayor, City of Los Angeles
Michael Feuer Councilmember, 5th District
Joel Wachs Councilmember, 2nd District Member Public Safety Committee
William R. Bamattre Fire Chief, Los Angeles Fire Department
Cindy Miscikowski Councilmember, 11th District Chair, Public Safety Committee
Bernard C. Parks Chief of Police, Los Angeles Police Department
Alex Padilla Councilmember, 7th District
Mitzi Grasso President, Los Angeles Police Protective League
Rocky Delgadillo Deputy Mayor, City of Los Angeles
Kenneth E. Buzzell President, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City
(No arguments against Charter Amendment B were submitted)