Florida Retirement System
The Florida Senate on Wednesday is set to consider a bill aimed at shoring up the retirement plans for police officers and firefighters, amid worries over the health of local pension systems.
The House has abandoned plans to overhaul the state pension plan for public employees, at least for this year, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli said Monday.
House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner entered the legislative session Tuesday with a set of shared priorities — dubbed “Work Plan 2015” — that includes cutting taxes, crafting a water policy and boosting education spending.
The debate over the future of state and local pensions pivoted to the Senate on Friday after the House approved a sweeping retirement bill over the objections of Democrats.
The volume on the fourth floor outside the House and Senate chambers is reaching a crescendo. Lobbyists are jockeying for positions in front of the chamber doors as lawmakers emerge for quick pow-wows. It’s all part of the last-minute frenzy as, in the words of powerful Sen. John Thrasher, “bills are dying.”
Changes to retirement plans covering hundreds of thousands of public employees started coming together Thursday on both sides of the Capitol, raising the prospects of success on long-stymied issues.
Florida Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, along with other legislators, want to continue to change the state’s pension program. Speaker Weatherford on Tuesday went as far as asking voters to support the change to help Florida avoid bankruptcy.
The Florida Supreme Court sounded skeptical Friday as it considered a legal challenge to a 2011 law that forced public employees to help pay for their pensions.
A state judge has struck down a new law that required public employees to contribute 3-percent of their income to their retirement pensions.
In the three months since the legislative session ended, the Florida Retirement System has seen a substantial uptick in the number of new retirees.