As the economy continues to sputter, city and state governments are turning against their own workers to make up the financial shortfall. The latest cuts are targeting pension plans which have pushed some cities to the brink of financial ruin.
Hollywood voters will go to the polls September 13th to decide whether to pass a referendum that will reform police, firefighter and city employee’s pensions.
As city employees shouted in anger, the Hollywood city commission unanimously passed three ordinances freezing pension plans for city employees and setting up new plans with potentially lower future payoffs. They also set a September referendum to take the changes to the voters unless they can work out a deal with employees first.
Starting Friday, Florida state government workers will have to contribute 3% of their paycheck to their pension fund, despite a court battle on the change which is just getting started. Late Thursday night, a judge blocked efforts to force the state to put aside money to pay that 3% while the battle moves through the court system,
Despite a lawsuit from the Florida Education Association and countless other public worker unions, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 2100 into law, meaning all government employees to contribute 3 percent of their salaries to the Florida Retirement System.
Bills in the Florida House and Senate that will shift state pensions into investment accounts and require state and local workers to pay into them began moving forward Thursday.
A Senate panel backed off considerably from a proposal to require state workers to make contributions to their pension fund, exempting many state workers, and cutting back the amount others would have to chip in.
A new report from Florida State University says a new ticking time bomb may exist when it comes to municipal pensions across the state.