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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Decision on FEA pension lawsuit could create state budget hole



In case you missed this, the Florida Education Association's lawsuit on last year's law forcing state workers to contribute to their pensions is to get a ruling Tuesday. It could have a major effect on the state's future spending. Here's the Times report from Tallahassee:

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford announced Monday that she will announce her decision in the union lawsuit against the state over state worker pensions at a special hearing in her courtroom today. Depending on how Fulford rules, legislators could face a $2 billion budget hole or dodge a bullet.

The Florida Education Association and other state and local government unions sued the state last year after the Legislature cut worker salaries 3 percent, eliminated cost of living adjustments, or COLAs, for retirement benefits, and shifted the money into the general revenue fund to save the state $1 billion during the 2011 legislative session.

If Fulford rules against the state, legislators may have to find $1 billion to repay state workers for the money removed from their salaries this year and come up with another $1 billion to repair a budget for the 2012-13 budget year.

If she rules in favor of the state, the 3 percent cut from worker salaries will remain.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 6:29am]


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