Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Woo-hoo! FL judge rules pension cuts for state workers 'unconstitutional taking'

Good news for Florida state workers whose wages were arbitrarily cut 3 percent by lawmakers last year. A judge ruled that the Legislature violated the state constitution by requiring them to contribute that 3 percent to their pensions.

The Tampa Bay Times reports:
...a Leon County court judge declared Tuesday that lawmaker's decision last year to cut state and local government worker salaries three percent was unconstitutional and ordered them to return the money with interest.
Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford said that the legislature's decision to turn to state employee salaries to help them close their budget gap was an "an unconstitutional impairment of plaintiff's contract with the State of Florida, an unconstitutional taking of private property without full compensation, and an abridgement of the rights of public employees to collectively bargain over conditions of employment."
The state will of course appeal. In the meantime, though, our brothers and sisters who work for the Florida Department of Corrections have something to celebrate! They can thank the Florida Education Association for bringing the lawsuit against the state.

A promise is a promise. It isn't right and it isn't fair to balance the budget on the backs of law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters and nurses to give corporations more giveaways. Closing tax loopholes for millionaires is the way to fill the budget gap.