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Scott says pension contribution phase-in a no-go

Monday, February 14th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Gov. Rick Scott rejected some GOP lawmakers proposal to phase-in a revamp of the state’s pension system.

Scott’s proposed having state workers kick in 5 percent of their salaries to their pension plans, splitting the 10 percent the state now pays for. That would amount to a 5 percent salary cut for the state’s public school employees, who make up nearly half of the Florida Retirement System.

Senate Education Appropriations Committee Chairman David Simmons said he wants to see the pension reform eased in over more than one year so that beginning teachers won’t get a pay cut while the state’s still struggling to come out of a recession.

Scott says nope.

“It’s only fair. The private sector, they fund their retirement benefits so the public sector ought to be doing the same thing,” Scott said. Asked if he was willing to negotiate on the phase-in, Scott’s response was terse: “No.”

UPDATE: McCollum helps debunk Scott ads blasting Sink and pension fund

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 by Dara Kam

UPDATE: GOP officials appear to be linking Attorney General Bill McCollum to billions of dollars in losses – on paper – to the state pension fund during the 2008 financial meltdown.

McCollum has steadfastly refused to join other GOP elected officials in their support for Rick Scott, who defeated the attorney general in the August GOP governor’s race primary.

The Republican Party of Florida paid for a series of ads attacking Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democrat nominee for governor, for her role in the pension fund losses.

“Under current oversight, the fund has lost billions upon billions – and now Alex Sink is actually running ads on her questionable record overseeing SBA,” RPOF spokesman Dan Conston said in an e-mail in response to a reaction to McCollum’s pointed questioning yesterday to refute recent reports that the State Board of Administration made risky investments that endangered the pension fund.


Attorney General Bill McCollum may have finally put to rest speculation that he may eventually endorse Rick Scott in the governor’s race in the spirit of party unity.

Instead, he helped Scott’s opponent Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democrat candidate for governor, debunk ads bashing Sink for her role in the state pension fund’s loss of billions of dollars in value during the financial meltdown in 2008.

McCollum, who lost the GOP primary bid in a brutal battle against Scott last month, sits with Sink and Gov. Charlie Crist on the board of trustees that governs the State Board of Administration, which handles the pension fund and other investments.

In a public meeting yesterday, McCollum repeatedly asked SBA chief Ash Williams about reports that the pension fund is troubled and that the SBA made risky investments.

Williams assured the trustees the $119 billion fund is sound.

“The SBA is stronger and different then it was only two years ago,” Williams said.

He also refuted allegations that the investments were risky.

“The truth is they are performing,” McCollum said. “They are assets that pay back.”

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