Despite having the nearly unanimous support of Louisiana’s residents, a proposed pay raise for Louisiana’s teachers is at risk of failing in the Legislature.
While the 2017 Regular Legislative Session ended in gridlock on the state budget, action on policy changes for the state and statewide retirement systems came a to a desirable conclusion for the year.
An effort to provide retired state employees and teachers a cost-of-living increase in their pension checks came up short Thursday.
The Louisiana House Retirement Committee deadlocked in a 6-6 vote — effectively killing legislation impacting more than 100,000 retirees.
An effort to allow the full House to consider the measure’s merit also died.
Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, proposed the 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment, citing escalating expenses retirees — many on limited fixed and sometimes poverty incomes — are facing.
Jones particularly noted double-digit increases in the state health insurance program costs because of “mismanagement” by the Jindal administration’s Office of Group Benefits.
Negotiations between New Orleans firefighters and city officials have failed, leaving a protracted legal battle and jockeying in the state Legislature as the likely arenas for their ongoing dispute over firefighter retirement benefits.
A working group established by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, which served as the vehicle for the negotiations, met for the last time Monday night in front of a City Hall auditorium packed with angry firefighters who say the city is trying to renege on promises they were made when they signed up for a dangerous job.
Firefighters and city officials on in the working group were miles apart on what the basic elements of a recovery plan would include.
The meeting did make clear just how dangerously underfunded the retirement system is, however.
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