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Judge to rule on pension lawsuit

A Tallahassee judge is expected to rule Tuesday on whether a mandatory state employee pension contribution is unconstitutional. Lynn Hatter reports the legislature approved three-percent pension contributions from state employees last year and a coalition of groups sued.

In a lawsuit challenging the pension contributions, the state’s largest teachers union, the Florida Education Association, said the move violated collective bargaining agreements with state employees.

The state argued it was within its rights to change retirement plans for state employees. The move was supported by Governor Rick Scott who has also said state employees should be treated like private sector workers.  

Senate President Mike Haridopolos says should the state lose the case, it could lead to a two-billion dollar budget hole in both the current year’s budget, and the one lawmakers are trying to finalize now.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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