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

Sofia DeCerce, 21, a senior studying health education and behavior, and Lindsay Pearl, 19, a sophomore studying health science discuss programs GatorWell offers with Ronit Dastidar, 19, a microbiology sophomore. "People are going to keep doing what they're doing, but it's important to make sure that they're informed to the correct way to do those activities," Dastidar said.

Florida Ranked 47th In Sexual Health, Could Be Due To Educational Lack

Florida ranked 47th in the United States for sexual health by the State by State Safer Sex Index. Melissa St. Onge, communications manager for Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida, said she was not surprised to hear Florida ranked so low on the survey, and that sexual health conversations should start at home and continue with education in class.


Judge Refuses to Stop Florida Black Bear Hunt

A Leon County judged ruled that Florida’s first black bear hunt in 21 years will indeed happen. The ruling says that a state wildlife agency was within its right to schedule the hunt.

The existing seal of the  Florida state senate. A committee is reviewing whether the Confederate flag should be removed.

Florida’s Senators Consider Removing Confederate Flag From State Senate Seal

The Senate Rules Committee will meet Oct. 8 to begin re-examining the current emblem of the chamber. Under Senate rules, the seal includes “a fan of the five flags which have flown over Florida” — those of the United States, Confederate States of America, France, Great Britain and Spain.

Spike in Newberry Water Bills Stirs Concern in Residents

According to the “Citizens of Newberry Forum” on Facebook, water bills are all the rage as residents are unhappy with their unusually high bills. Serving about 1,675 customers, Newberry City Manager Mike New says it is nothing out of the ordinary compared to previous years.

Campus Gun Bills Advance In House And Senate

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, September 16, 2015………. A proposal that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to pack heat while hitting the books on college and university campuses notched it first two successes Wednesday. The legislation (SB 68 and HB 4001), […]

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