Message From FPF President Gary Rainy

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April 4, 2013

Provided to Florida Public EMployees

By: Gary Rainey

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today was “the” day for our bills this week. Here’s a quick rundown on today’s actions.

HB 693/SB530:  The House bill was heard this morning in the Judiciary committee.  I testified regarding unintended consequences of the bill on public sector labor arbitrations.  The bill as currently written will increase costs and add delays to our arbitration cases.  I have met with Senator Thrasher in the Senate on the bill, which is ready to go to Senate floor about our concerns.  The Florida Bar Business section has authored the bill and I and our General Counsel have been trying to work out a solution to protect our interests.  The House bill still has 2 more committee stops.  I met with the House sponsor Rep Moraitis as well and he is also agreeable to working out a solution.

SB 1810 is the rate bill for next years FRS employer contributions, it has a small increase for the Health Insurance Subsidy, which is needed  and will add 42 million dollars to this “pay as you go ” benefit.  There will also be a 885 million dollar payment on the pension plans normal cost and the unfunded actuarial liability beginning in July.  This bill received a unanimous vote in the Committee

SB 534 which requires 175 pension plans to pay for an additional “fake” actuarial study assuming a 2% lower rate of return than what the actuaries recommend also moved forward from committee today with all Republicans and Senator Ring (D) voting YES  and all other Democrats voting NO.  All members of the Retirement coalition oppose this bill.

SB  458 by Senator Ring and Bradley is  the much maligned 175 local pension bill.  All members of the retirement coalition oppose the bill as does the Florida League of Cities.  This bill has had more amendments and rewrites than anything else we are working on. It is  very detrimental to all our local pension plans.  However so is doing nothing and going back to the status quo of the “Naples Letter” interpretation by Governor Scott that gives cities a free hand to reduce benefits.  This bill was also voted out of committee by all Republicans and Senator Ring, while all other Democrats opposed the bill.

The House Bill (HB 7011) that passed the House the week before last has been sent to the Senate in messages and has been referred to 3 Senate committees.  As it moves along, we will be asking you to contact your Senators to oppose it and support the Senate bill.  The Senate FRS bill is expected to be heard the week of April 15, 2013.

That’s it for today, we will continue to work on amendments to the local pension bill as well as the arbitration bill.

Stay tuned

Fraternally,

Gary Rainey, President/CEO
Florida Professional Firefighters
raineyg@gmail.com, 850-224-7333

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