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"As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule." - Albert Einstein

Overhaul of FRS Deemed Consitutional

Posted: January 17, 2013 Filed under: Case Law, Employment Law, Law-Related News, Legislation

Today, the Supreme Court of Florida overturned a trial court order that had declared a 2011 law overhauling the Florida Retirement System (FRS) unconstitutional. By a margin of 4 to 3, the supreme court ruled that the Florida Legislature had the constitutional authority to pass Chapter 2011-68, Laws of Florida, which “converted the FRS from noncontributory by employees to contributory, required all current FRS members to contribute 3% of their salaries to the retirement system, and eliminated the retirement cost-of-living adjustment for creditable service after the effective date of the act.” According to a footnote, the changes affect “55 state agencies; 396 county agencies; 67 school boards; 28 community colleges; 185 cities, 6 independent hospitals, 243 special districts (these last three categories include the 26 cities, 5 independent hospitals, and 12 independent districts that are closed to new members as of January 1, 1996); and 12 other public employers not specifically designated.”

The changes, which one of the majority justices described as “a 3% pay-cut in addition to years without cost-of-living adjustments,” were described more dimly by a dissenting justice as “an insufferable and unconstitutional ‘bait and switch’ at the expense of public employees who were members of the [FRS] prior to July 1, 2011.”

Decide for yourself which side has the better descriptor by reading the opinion in Scott v. Williams HERE.

 

 

Admitted: Florida, Kansas, New Mexico (inactive)