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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Attack of the double dipping bill --- It's alive!!!



Remember the "double dipping" bill, aimed at stopping retirees from collecting pensions and salaries at the same time?

For those keeping track: First the Senate killed it on the floor. Then revived it. Then sent it to a committee. Where it died. Now, the House has revived it. But there are Senate opponents looking to kill it again.

The Florida House voted 89-28 on Wednesday to attach an amendment to a retirement bill (SB 2848) that would expand the amount of time a retired employee must wait before going back to work for the state from one to 12 months. The amendment also prevents employees from accruing a second state pension. It also requires employee supervisors to file reports with the governor, the house speaker and senate president to justify hiring a retiree.

The measure's sponsor Rep. Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill, had tried to also include a cap that would have prevented retirees from going back to jobs that pay more than $100,000. But late last night, he said he didn't have enough support in the House for that part of the amendment.

The bill also authorizes, but doesn't fund, a study to look into "different retirement options for returning employees," thanks to an amendment by Rep. Mitch Needelman, R-Melbourne.

But, despite enthusiasm from Senate sponsor Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, the bill again faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Government Operations committee chair Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee vowed on Wednesday to strip the amendment off the bill or to allow the bill to die.

"If I don't have enough votes to do it, I won't take up the bill," Lawson said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:55am]


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