SAN DIEGO (AP) — A judge on Tuesday rejected a union-backed attempt to halt a measure that curbs pensions for San Diego city workers, setting the stage for it to take effect as early as next month.

The ruling clears an early hurdle for the closely watched measure, which, like one in San Jose, is already the subject of a hotly contested legal battle. Voters in San Diego and San Jose overwhelmingly approved the measures last month as their governments struggle under the weight of growing pension obligations.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Luis Vargas noted that a significant majority of voters backed Proposition B. If unions eventually prevail in their legal challenge, he said, previous benefits can be restored.

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