WUFT News

State Supreme Court hears oral arguments in pension case

By on September 10th, 2012

The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments Friday regarding a lawsuit filed by  government workers challenging a 2011 law that requires public employees to contribute to their retirement plans.

“It is a common sense public pension reform,” said Lane Wright, press secretary for Florida Gov. Rick Scott. “Prior to this reform, Florida was one of only three states in the whole country that did not require public employees to contribute to their pensions.”

Alachua County Education Association President Karen McCann said the law violates Florida’s constitution.

“They changed the conditions of employement,” she said. “We had a contract. The Florida constitution says in Article I, Section 10 that you cannot pass a law that breaks an existing contract, and that’s what the lawsuit is really about.”

McCann said prior to the 2011 law it was a condition of employment that state employees, such as teachers and firefighters, receive a pension paid for by the employer. She said the law violates the rights of anyone who was employed by the state prior to 2011 and had a pension with the Florida Retirement System.

The state “made up the budget shortfall on the backs of a lot of middle class workers by breaking a promise that the state had to them,” she said.

Wright said the state expects to win the case based on a precedent set by the state Supreme Court more than three decades ago.

“The truth is more than 30 years ago there was a decision made by the Florida Supreme Court that said the legislature is allowed to make changes to the Florida Retirement System on a going-forward-basis,” he said. “And when the legislature crafted this law they were careful to make sure they followed that precedent that was set more than 30 years ago. ”

It is unknown when the state Supreme Court will release its decision.

Emily Miller edited this story for online.

 


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

BearHunt1

Protestors Voice Concern Over Proposed Bear Hunt

Protesters voiced their opposition to the proposed bear hunt on Monday outside of the Ocala office for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The FWC is expected to vote on the issue Wednesday.


John King, recreational fisherman from Dunnellon, Fla., shows off a red snapper caught during the 2013 season. King said recreational fishermen should have longer than 10 days to catch and keep red snapper this year.

Amendment 40 Splits Red Snapper Season, Extending For Charters

Red snapper season was divided on June 1 into two recreational sectors: federal for-hire charter captains and private recreational fishermen. The season for recreational fisherman will be limited to 10 consecutive days, ending at 12:01 a.m. on June 11.


House, Senate Still Stuck in Health Debate

Florida legislators began a special session Monday to pass a budget for the year beginning July 1. But the House and Senate are still in a stalemate over whether to adopt a Senate proposal use Medicaid expansion money from the Affordable Care Act to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance.


Court Limits Damages In UCF Player’s Death

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday the parents of University of Central Florida football player, Ereck Plancher, are limited to collecting $200,000 in a lawsuit they filed against UCF Athletics Association, Inc. Plancher collapsed and died in March 2008 after off-season football drills supervised by football coach George O’Leary.


Florida: Pot Strain Likely Available Later This Year

Florida officials predict a strain of marijuana, known as Charlotte’s Web, will be available for medical purposes later this year. The Department of Health released a statement that said they are moving quickly to allow access to it.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments