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Cities Back Away From Negotiated Compromise On Local Pension Reform

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 But cities have withdrawn their support due to concerns it doesn’t leave many options for collective bargaining.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.

“So congratulations, you asked for a bailout and you have a piece of legislation that’s giving you a bailout," Committee Chairman Jeremy Ring (D-Margate) told Florida League of Cities lobbyists. "You want more, I know, but this is your bailout and you got it.”

The bill reverses a law passed in 1999 that cities have blamed for throwing local pensions into disarray. The proposal would substantially change how pensions are funded and could affect 350 municipal plans across the state. A similar measure failed last year because it was tied to a state pension reform plan.

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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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