Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lawmakers target double- and triple-dipping

TALLAHASSEE — A bill that would eliminate triple-dipping and place new restrictions on public employees who try to double-dip won approval Wednesday from the House Council on Governmental Efficiency and Accountability.

Acting just a week after a Senate committee killed another effort to limit double- and triple-dipping, the House bill would close several loopholes that have allowed thousands of public employees to "retire" and return to work at the same job, collecting both a salary and a pension.

Rep. Robert C. Schenck, R-Spring Hill, introduced the bill (H1405) after reading about double- and triple-dippers in stories published by the St. Petersburg Times.

Council Chairman Frank Attkisson, R-St. Cloud, supports the bill and said he hopes to get it out of the House and into the Senate before the session ends May 2.

During debate Wednesday, Schenck defended the bill against complaints from several lawmakers who wanted to exempt all elected officials from a provision that would force public employees to forfeit their pensions if they were being paid more than $100,000.

Another provision would make members of the Florida Retirement System, most state employees and more than 900 local governmental agencies ineligible for a second pension once they have begun collecting retirement benefits and return to work. Under current law, there is no limit on the number of pensions a public employee can receive.

Public employees can retire, take 30 days off and return to work at their old jobs if supervisors approve. The House bill would extend the 30-day hiatus to 12 months, making it substantially more difficult to "game the system," Schenck said.

Those voting against the bill were Reps. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter; Joe Gibbons, D-Pembroke Park; Matt Meadows, D-Fort Lauderdale; Franklin Sands, D-Weston; and Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando.

Meadows and Thompson are among the 15 legislators who collect a $31,000 salary plus pensions they earned in other jobs covered by the state retirement system. Lawmakers working to fix loopholes say the number of their fellow legislators who are personally collecting two checks has made change difficult.

Schenck's proposal would not affect any of the lawmakers because they don't collect more than $100,000 a year for their part-time lawmaking duties.

Domino, one of the wealthiest members of the Legislature, said he collects a U.S. government check for his military service. His pension would not be affected by the bill, but Domino said he is concerned that the restriction would keep some good people from seeking elective office.

Last week, Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, wanted the Senate Governmental Operations Committee to approve a bill that would have limited re-employment pay to $30,000 a year once a public employee has retired and started collecting a pension.

The committee voted 4-1 against the measure. Senate President Ken Pruitt said Wednesday he was disappointed and hopes some members will have a change of heart and eliminate double- and triple-dipping.

Lucy Morgan can be reached at lmorgan@sptimes.com or (850) 224-7263.

Lawmakers target double- and triple-dipping 04/16/08 [Last modified: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.