pension reform

Florida Channel

State employees will be getting a pay raise this year, under a proposal now heading to the Senate floor. But, it’s tied to a controversial pension reform issue and health insurance reform package backed by the House.

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Amid budget negotiations, the House and Senate may be using the revival of a controversial pension reform package as a means to get on the same page.

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A controversial pension reform bill that just passed the House is now in the Florida Senate’s hands.

chartingyourfinancialfuture.com

Less than two weeks after the House proposal was unveiled, The Florida House is expected Wednesday to take up a controversial pension reform package.

Florida Channel

Florida House Republicans are back at it again. They’ve revived an effort to make changes to Florida’s Retirement System.

MGN Online

A bill allowing the surviving spouses of first responders to receive proper death benefits is now headed to Governor Rick Scott. This could mark the end of a contentious debate over pension reform this year.

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The Florida House passed a controversial bill making changes to Florida’s Retirement System.

The House debated a proposal Tuesday that would automatically enroll new state hires into a 401-k style retirement plan instead of a traditional pension.

Pelican Post

A bill seeking to reform Florida’s Retirement System is now heading to the House floor, despite continued opposition.

deputyscottpine.com

A bill stemming from the death of a fallen sheriff’s deputy is putting the House and Senate at odds over a pension reform proposal.

Florida Channel

A renewed effort in the House to make changes to Florida’s Retirement System is getting some mixed reviews among public employee unions.

Florida Channel

Over the years, the Republican-led Florida Legislature has tried to overhaul the state’s retirement system. And, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli says he’s not giving up on what he calls “pension modernization” in the coming 2016 session.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has ranked state's according to their financial health.
Mercatus Center / George Mason University

Florida’s ranks among the best states when it comes to good budget management, according to a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Researchers released the report Tuesday, but concerns about state pensions and state debt are clouding Florida’s long-term outlook.

Governor Rick Scott recently gave the nod to several priorities of the state’s first responder unions. Now, those unions are speaking out on what they’d like Florida lawmakers to include in the still-to-be-considered state budget.

The Florida Channel

Local pensions are a ticking time bomb in the state. While funding remains undercut and overdue, lawmakers are working to pass a bill that will finally redress the issue.

Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner
The Florida Channel

Members of the democratic caucus met Thursday in two back-to-back conferences, one on pensions and the other on environmental policy.

The LeRoy Collins Institute's new study shows the state has more than $8 billion in unfunded health care benefits for retirees.
LeRoy Collins Institute

The next big blow to already-fragile local pension plans could come from retiree health benefits. That’s a according to the latest report on pensions from the public-policy driven, LeRoy Collins Institute.

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While the Senate has said it won’t start any talks to reform Florida’s Retirement System this year, a House panel is moving forward.

During Wednesday’s presentation, House State Affairs Committee members heard that Florida’s Retirement System is funded at 86.6 percent—a percentage proponents of the system say means it’s, “actuarially sound.”

The Florida Channel

There are more than 400 local pension plans paid for by cities and counties and many of them are underwater. The problem has gotten increasingly worse during the past 15 years—with the systems more than $10 billion  in the red. Last year, lawmakers thought they had a deal to fix the system, but the cities are backing away from it.

In happier times: House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (l) and Sen. President Andy Gardiner (r).
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

While the Senate doesn’t look like it will consider an overhaul of the Florida Retirement System, the House is not giving up hope it can convince the other chamber.

Last year, the state pension overhaul bill failed, after it got tied to a non-controversial effort to fix local pension programs affecting police and firefighters. But, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli says his chamber is not deterred, and is already looking to file a separate state pension reform proposal.

Local pension funds for police and firefighters are overdue for an overhaul says the Senate’s Governmental Oversight Committee Chairman.

The plan approved Wednesday was a negotiated compromise between unions and cities. But cities have withdrawn their support due to concerns it doesn’t leave many options for collective bargaining. The committee chairman says the comments from the cities reaffirm his belief the legislature is bailing them out.

americansforprosperity.org

A conservative backed group unveiled their legislative agenda for both the state and national levels Thursday.

Americans for Prosperity CEO Luke Hilgemann says he and his staff have talked to millions of people all over the U.S., including the Sunshine state.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pension reform is slated to come up during the 2015 legislative session. So, could this be the year local pension reform actually comes to pass? What about overhauling Florida’s Retirement System that opponents say is already sound? We'll take a look at what stakeholders are hoping for in the New Year.

Robert Weissert is the Chief Research Officer for Florida TaxWatch, a government watchdog group, which recently released its annual cost savings report. One area Weissert says state government could save some money is by overhauling the Florida Retirement System.

Capital Report: 12-19-2014

Dec 19, 2014

The United States will resume diplomatic relations with Cuba and reaction to the announcement has been mixed. The decision to normalize a relationship with the Communist country could have a big impact on Florida for decades to come.

Florida TaxWatch

Moving state employees into riskier, but potentially more profitable retirement plans is just one way to trim the state’s $77 billion budget, Florida TaxWatch, a government watchdog group, recommended in its annual report released Thursday.

Robert Weissert, TaxWatch’s chief researcher, says lawmakers should look hard at the recommendations while they decide how to spend a $ 1 billion surplus.

“Budget surpluses do not mean that we should not spend taxpayer money wisely,” he said.

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