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Will Two Pension Efforts Be Separate Or Tied Together Again? Some Fine Either Way

Florida Channel

Pension reform will be coming back up in the 2015 legislative session. But, the question some stakeholders are asking is whether a local pension effort will be tied to a controversial state pension reform planagain, which caused both issues to die earlier this year.

According to House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, two efforts are moving separately in his chamber. One overhauling the Florida Retirement System that opponents say is sound, and another fixing troubled local pension programs.

“They can definitely move separately,” said Crisafulli, speaking recently to reporters. “I mean they have been tied together in the past, but as far as the conversations that are being had right now, they are separate.”

And, Florida League of Cities Legislative Director Scott Dudley, a proponent of local pension reform, says he applauds the speaker’s decision—though he’d be okay either way.

“If we can get it done separately, we ought to be able to do that,” said Dudley. “If it requires that they be bundled together for both sides, then that’s okay too. We applaud the notion…we just want to see local police and fire pension reforms so that we can make the systems more sustainable into the future.”

Meanwhile, Crisafulli says if there’s not “an appetite” for it in the Senate, then state pension reform won’t happen.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.