Tallhassee, FL - From the blackboard...
"It is something that dates back to the early 1800s..."
From the halls of justice to the halls of power, Florida has more than a million public sector employees. And almost all of them are enrolled in a pension plan paid for entirely by you, the taxpayer.
Legislative leaders, along with governor Rick Scott, call the plan unsustainable given our budget problems. Which means reeform could be on the horizon.
"They're reforming something that's not broken!"
Today (1-10) the Florida AFL-CIO shot back. Ray Edmondson feels Florida's pension fund is one of the strongest in the nation.
Edmondson, FL Public Pension Trustees Association, says, "Defined benefit pension systems in the state of Florida are the most regulated, the most highly-funded; they have the most highly-regulated and the most educated trustees. You are one of the shining stars."
Still, top republicans contend it's time for government to follow the private sector's lead and require workers to contribute to their own pensions...A lot like a 401-K.
"Government is about serving the people, not the providers!"
Dominic Calabro with Florida Taxwatch helped craft a list of pension reform recommendations governor Scott looks poised to take up.
By requiring more of public employees, Calabro says Florida could save more than a billion dollars a year.
Union officials say there's a big problem with that. Many public sector employees, like teachers, don't make very much money to begin with.
That could make it difficult for them to contribute to their pension.
Before the recession, Florida was one of only four states to have a fully-funded pension program.