Are this week's victories for pension reform forces in California – already contested by lawsuits from public employees – signs that the financially challenged state is ready to follow the lead of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown?

On Tuesday, voters in both San Jose and San Diego sided with proposals calling for huge changes to public employee retirement benefit plans, with San Jose requiring its employers to pay double-digit contribution increases to their own plans, and San Diego adopting a fixed 401(k)-style plan for new employees.

According to a Reuters story, Brown is using the momentum from this week's vote as a sign of support for his own plans to help narrow a massive pension shortfall, estimated to approach half a trillion dollars, as California's economy continues to struggle.

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