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SACRAMENTO, CA - Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal seeks to cut off thousands of retirees who return to work for the state.

The idea targets most of the state's so-called "retired annuitants," a group of about 5,800 workerswho collecta paycheck from the stateon top of their pensions.

The Democratic governor's proposal may appeal totaxpayerswho want a crack downon double-dipping.

The idea may also appeal to public employee unions, which want to eliminate jobs they believe stunt the growth of the regular workforce.

Jim Coe, 74,retired from the state in 2000, and returned to work several weeks later.

"I've offered my experience and know-how to the state,and younger employeesI work with," Coe said.

But there have been abuses of the system.

In California,14 state worker retireesearned $100,000 while collecting a pension.About 260 earned about $50,000, but most earn far less, about $19,000 annually.

Returing retirees can work up to 960 hours per fiscal year without harming their pensions.

"It's a good deal for retirees who return to work, but it's not a good deal for taxpayers," pension reform advocate Marcia Fritz said.

Fritz favors an older retirement age without the benefitof so called double dipping.

"By the governor stopping that practice, it may give people pause, what are we trying to do?" Fritz said.

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