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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Decision on FEA pension lawsuit could create state budget hole

6

March

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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