Pension Lawsuit on Fast Track to the Florida Supreme Court
The First District Court of Appeals granted the request of the FEA to jettison the pension lawsuit directly to the Florida Supreme Court.
Citing that "...the issue was of great public importance, the appellate court urged the Florida Supreme Court to step in now instead of waiting for the inevitable appeal after a ruling at the DCA level."
Judge Jackie Fulford recently " ... barred the state from requiring employees hired before July 1, 2011 to contribute 3 percent of their income to their retirement plan. Her ruling also struck down a portion of the law that would reduce the cost-of-living increase for those employees."
Gov. Rick Scott--presently 0-4 as far as legal wins--continues to grapple with Fulford's ruling. My favorite Scott quote: "This is writing the laws of the land. This is wrong. And I'm very comfortable this will be held to be constitutional." (Michael Peltier, News Service of Florida, 3/18/2012).
Next, the Guv actually had the nerve to turn around and point the finger at public employees, indicating we have no idea how we've basically screwed ourselves for challenging His Majesty. Scott reminded us that employer contributions into the pension fund were lowered by lawmakers at the same time our pockets were picked clean of 3% of our salary.
Meaning, if we don't pay in 3% and employers pay less, contributions toward the individual retirement plans of this state's public servants will be at an all time low.
Scott faces 14 court challenges over laws passed by the Republican majority state legislature. Ten remain pending. A legal challenge over state tuition hikes headed to the Florida Supremes last week.
And guess who is footing the legal bill? You and I. The pension battle alone is costing us $800,000 to pay an Atlanta-based law firm, because pension law, it's just tooo hard. (Read more here).
All that nonsense about the Florida Pension Fund being unfunded? WRONG. As stated by PolitiFact, "...the truth is, it's one of the better funded pension plans in the country. If all public employees retired tomorrow, they still get 87.5 percent of what they were owed."
Check out the PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter here.
Two words, dear reader. Recall Amendment.