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Senate FRS plan pulls in $1.1 billion and controversy

by John Kennedy | March 31st, 2011

The Senate budget committee approved a tough new rewrite Thursday of the Florida Retirement System that pours $1.1 billion into a proposed $69.8 billion state budget.

But the 13-8 vote doesn’t look like the last word from the Senate.

Even budget chairman J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, hinted that Thursday’s action was not, “where I hope we wind up.”

After weeks of the Senate offering a softer version of a pension overhaul than either of those promoted by the House or Gov. Rick Scott, version unveiled by Alexander imposes a 3 percent contribution rate for 655,000 government employees, puts most new employees into 401(k)-style investment plans, and close the state’s Deferred Retirement Option Program to new participants July 1.

The Republican-ruled committee was blasted for more than an hour by more than two-dozen teachers, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and other union representatives.

“They keep telling us ’we’ve got to suck it up,’” said Sharian Keys, a Port Orange teacher. “But who else is `sucking it up’ in this budget?”

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17 Responses to “Senate FRS plan pulls in $1.1 billion and controversy”

  1. Jim Says:

    Who else is sucking it up? No raises in 5 years while my cost of living certainly has gone up. The argument that private industry pays into their retirement does not hold water because their pay scale is much higher than State wages. That was the trade off they accepted. Bring State pay in line with private sector and we can talk apples to apples. you will only force State workers living check to check into more foreclosures while the governor wastes money drug testing secretaries making $20,000 a year quarterly so his wife gets richer. Give us a break already.

  2. Educator Says:

    Fascist Scott is following in the foot steps of his idol and premier Fascist A. Hitler. In 1938 Hitler and his many Christian followers went after the teachers and organized workers calling them “Communists and Socialists”. I would proudly accept the label “Socialist”, how many of you Fascists proudly accept who you really are?
    How’s that Capitalism working for you Florida?

  3. What Says:

    According to the Department of Management Services’ Annual Worforce Report, the average salary of a state employee is less than the average salary of a private sector worker in Florida.

    Everyone likes pointing to the wages of federal employees and transpose them onto state and local workers, but that isn’t the case.

  4. PFM Says:

    Our State Goverment keeps telling state workers they need us to pay more because we are in a bad budget time and “EVERYONE MUST PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE”. If that is true then why isn’t everyone in the state paying their fair share. Why not tell the top 2% people to give back 5% of their tax cuts so they are paying their fair share. Why not tell corporations to give back 5% of their tax cuts so they can pay their fair share. But only state workers are paying their fair share. Why is that? Could it be that they would rather pay their fair share in political contributions which they can write off!

  5. What Says:

    I also have an issue with legislature by JD Alexander.

    This is the second high-profile issue he has completely dismantled when the issue got to his committee.

    What is the purpose of the committee structure if nothing matters until JD chimes in.

    This sounds like a substantial re-write of what passed Ring’s committee. Don’t the rules require that the legislation be sent back to Ring’s commmittee?

  6. Ralph Easley Says:

    As a member of two unions, it is about time that we take our boot off of the golden goose, that is the tax payers of this state. Rather than a mature discussion I see many posts of name calling that reminds me of arguing siblings.

  7. Robert Simmons Says:

    According to the Department of Management Services, Florida State Employess are paid 50th out of all 50 states and the work force is the smallest per capita in the entire United States. Quit balancing the budget on the state employees making less than private industry. How much is in it for you Mr. Alexander?

  8. Hurry up Says:

    If you are unhappy with what is happening to your pay, raises, pension…please find another job.

    change must occur. It’s the PUBLIC taxpayer who is footing this bill. find one of those high paying private jobs.

    Too many public workers. And those in the system will be grandfathered in…it’s the new ones who will have the change.

    DROP needs to end. If people had to retire, then NEW workers would be hired and other workers in the system would advance.

    GET RID OF DROP!

  9. Talk is cheap Says:

    If you don’t like it, get out and vote!

  10. Searcher Says:

    Hurry Up-

    Next election will be a record breaker1 With so many people are getting screwed, there will be lines like we had in 2008. And I will not be as KIND as I was after that election.

  11. tallyguy Says:

    You’re funny Searcher. Let’s see, private sector, modest salary. I contribute 10% of my salary towards my retirement (more if I could). I get a $400 a month stipend towards my health insurance (family coverage, big bucks) which is less than what Alexander is proposing, and I’m grateful to get it. The problem is “you” don’t get it. We simply cannot afford to foot the bill for all these top shelf benefits any longer. And don’t give me this crap about salary levels. If you don’t like what you’re making, better yourself and promote, or find another job!

  12. SAY NO!! ANOTHER FLEECING OF TAXPAYER Says:

    Public workers have no clue what the real world jobs are like to have to perform GOOD and FAST. They have been insulated too long. Yes Florida is paid LESS than most other states but that is in EVERY job not just Govt ones. If you want to live in paradise and not pay state taxes it is a trade off.

    NOT FAIR THAT UNIONS NEG CONTRACTS SO BLOATED THEY WOULD NEVER SUSTAIN THEMSELVES AND THEY KNEW IT. The figured they would already be retired or grandfathered in. They waste so much of your dues TO LOBBY AND PAY PROTESTERS.

    THE STATE NEEDS TO MAN UP AN ADD COPS AND FIREMENT TO THESE CHANGES. They are overpaid the most. It is a job I would not want but automatic bumps for cert and degree taxpayers pay for is wrong. Google salaries, OT ect in our 3 counties. NOBODY DESERVES 100K RETIRMENT AND THEIR GOLDEN DROP $ AFTER A WHOLE 20 yr career. Especially firemen. Cops is more dangerous everyday.

    There are many waiting to take every job you whiners quit from so go ahead quit. You will all find Public sector jobs are paid much less with even less benefits and retirement? forgetabout it!

    NOBODY SHOULD EXPECT MORE THAN 40-50% IN RETIRMENT OF THEIR WORKING SALARY.

    NOT fair that YOU DO NOT ALL PAY 10% INTO YOUR RETIRMENT AND AT LEST 25% OF MEDICAL. ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE DOES.

    WAKE UP! NON UNION TAXPAYERS ARE LIKE 85% OF ALL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ROBBED AND BULLIED BY YOU UNIONS OR THREATS YOU WILL QUIT.

    WE are taking back moderation and common sense with OUR money. NO MORE GRAVY Train….And DO YOUR JOB BETTER MOST ARE PATHETIC.

  13. Brad Says:

    We understand the economy is in rough shape and government spending needs to be trimmed. That said, the changes to the FRS are just another tax on the middle class, while Corporations and the rich get their taxes cut. Its the Republican way. Please read my blog at http://www.rickscottbites.com for some good links.

  14. What Says:

    tallyguy – take a 20% cut in pay and come back and tell us how you feel.

    Why 20% you may ask… take the average state employee’s salary of $38,517 (for the record, the average salary for private sector workers was $40,973).

    This employee will noe be required to contribute:

    $96.29 to retirement

    $500 (approx) to health insurance for family coverage.

    Now add to the fact that the average wage has been stagnant for the past 5 years and adding in inflationary impact… you are now asking the average state emoployee to live off of a salary that is equivalent to the 2001 purchasing power of their paycheck, but with today’s prices… Remember, 2001… when gas was below $2 a gallon.

    I am not saying state employees shouldn’t be paying these items… but expecting someone who lives on a take-home of approximately $2,500 a month to take that kind of hit all at once is huge.

  15. kim Says:

    We elected a crook and that is what we have. If you make less than 100K a year this man is not looking out for you or going to help you. Wait till he gets to house insurance de-regulation, all you good old boys can see who he is concerned about. The big corporations How he can take $$ away from the lowest paid state workers in the country, workers who have not had a raise since 006, amazes me. All the while wanting to give tax breaks to We elected a crook and that is what we have. If you make less than 100K a year this man is not looking out for you or going to help you. Wait till he gets to house insurance de-regulation, all you good old boys can see who he is concerned about. The big corporations How he can take $$ away from the lowest paid state workers in the country, workers who have not had a raise since 006, amazes me. All the while wanting to give tax breaks to millionaires. . You tea baggers amaze me. You bought the scam. Where is Charlie Christ? At least he thought for himself. Oh yeah, he was not extremist enough for the tea baggers. I forgot. . You tea baggers amaze me. You bought the scam. Where is Charlie Christ? At least he thought for himself. Oh yeah, he was not extremist enough for the tea baggers. I forgot.

  16. William Wilsher Says:

    To those complaining about DROP, you do not understand it. The State was merely investing the individuals allocation (pension) in an annuity for up to 5 years. For the first time in 33 years, I have money in the bank. If it weren’t for DROP, I could not have left employment with Palm Beach County. Unlike police, fire and Federal employees, my pension is half of what I used to earn. I have been looking for a job for 6 months. There are none!!! At 60 years old, I have even offered to take up a shovel. Again, there are NO JOBS!!!

  17. Buckly Says:

    “SAY NO!! ANOTHER FLEECING OF TAXPAYER”.. your post was the best April fools joke I read on the internet this year. Cops are overpaid? You made me laugh out loud, your sense of humor is hilarious! I mean if someone believed all the stuff you typed it would be sad, but I saw you posted on April 1st and realized you were just pretending to be a mongloid. In reality if any of these proposals pass the rate of corruption and incompatence will go through the roof. It is hard not to get good teachers, cops and firemen.. but with no retirement and no health care you will get the bottom of the barrel. Thank god I can move from the gun shine state at any time!

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