Senate pension plan exposes GOP riftby John Kennedy | April 2nd, 2011
With the House and Senate poised to approve state budget proposals next week, $3.3 billion separates the two sides — along with a smattering of ideology.
Some Senate Republicans are wary of efforts to extract $1.1 billion of the state’s budget shortfall from teachers, police, firefighters and other government workers in the Florida Retirement System.
Viera Republican Sen. Thad Altman went so far as to call budget chief J.D. Alexander’s plan, which pivots on 3 percent pay contributions by FRS enrollees, a “huge, huge mistake.”
The House pulls $710 million from government workers in its pension proposal. But the Senate’s budget proposal still spends way more than the House.
If senators want to ease back from public employee cash, there’s not many more couch cushions or cookie jars for lawmakers to find money. But watch for some senators to float some alternatives – more cuts, and maybe even some fee and fine-hikes – in the coming week.