Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fla. Senate rejects plan to stop double-dipping

TALLAHASSEE — A second attempt to crack down on double-dipping state employees failed Thursday, thanks in part to two senators who also collect pensions as former sheriffs.

The measure — weaker and less restrictive than one considered last week on the Senate floor — failed 4-1 in a Senate committee, making it unlikely the concept can be revived before the session ends May 2.

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, the bill's sponsor, said he will try to explore other options. So far, the House hasn't considered a similar measure.

Last week on the floor of the full Senate, Fasano tried to prohibit all state retirees from going back to work in a different state job that paid them more than $30,000 annually while they also collected retirement benefits.

On Wednesday, he offered a more lenient plan that would have been tougher on elected and appointed officials than other state employees. It would have affected only employees retiring Oct. 1 or later, thereby grandfathering in all state pensioners who have previously returned to work for the state.

Those individuals included Sen. Steve Oelrich, R-Gainesville, and Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, who voted against the new plan Wednesday.

Both Dean, 68, and Oelrich, 62, said they voted against the measure because they thought Fasano's effort was too broad and would prevent the state from attracting talent out of retirement. They said Fasano's measure failed to target a small number of egregious cases.

The measure also made an exception for teachers, allowing them to continue double-dipping, which won over the one "yes" vote from Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, a former Miami-Dade School Board member who would have otherwise voted against the bill, she said.

A St. Petersburg Times investigation has found more than 8,000 state employees are collecting a pension and a paycheck for a full-time job, with their total salaries topping $300-million.

Fasano's plan would have required those in public office to be retired for a full year before going back to work to collect a salary along with their pension. The measure also prevented working retirees from accruing a second pension.

For non-elected state employees, the measure would void retirement and delay pensions if the employee returned to work less than three months later. If they emerged from retirement after three months, they could return to a state job and would eventually collect both a salary and a pension.

Fla. Senate rejects plan to stop double-dipping 04/09/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 14, 2008 1:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Mark Bowden's 'Hue 1968' a gripping, and timely, history

    Books

    More than 40 years after it ended, America's war in Vietnam is still contentious, still misunderstood, and fast slipping into the fog of history.

     On Feb. 15, 1968, U.S. Marines carry out an assault on Dong Ba Tower in Hue, South Vietnam. In the battle for the tower, six men died and 50 were wounded.
  2. Bitcoin, ransomware fraudster Anthony Murgio of Tampa sentenced to prison

    Business

    Tampa's Anthony Murgio, 33, was sentenced Tuesday to 5-1/2 years in prison for running a bitcoin exchange suspected of laundering money for a group of hackers who targeted publishing and financial firms as part of a complex securities fraud.

    Anthony Murgio of Tampa, 33, was sentenced Tuesday to 5 1/2 years in prison for running a Bitcoin exchange suspected of laundering money for a group of hackers who targeted publishing and financial firms as part of a complex securities fraud. [AP photo]
  3. Florida education news: Athletic trainers, signing bonuses, student vaccinations and more

    Blogs

    SAFETY FIRST: Pasco County school district leaders decide to retain high school athletic trainers, which had been slated for elimination, amid pleas from …

  4. Rays morning after: Why Alex Cobb was out of the game and Alex Colome was in

    Blogs

    Alex Cobb obviously did a really good job pitching the first eight innings for the Rays on Tuesday.

  5. Police commander among 6 charged in deadly 1989 UK soccer deaths

    World

    LONDON — British prosecutors charged six people Wednesday in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster where 96 soccer fans were crushed to death.

    Police, stewards and supporters tend and care for wounded supporters on the pitch at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, England, on April 15, 1989. British prosecutors on Wednesday June 28, 2017, are set to announce whether they plan to lay charges in the deaths of 96 people in the Hillsborough stadium crush _ one of Britain's worst-ever sporting disasters. [Associated Press]