Florida Supreme Court to hear 'chaos-enducing' state employee pension case

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On a 5-2 vote, the Florida Supreme Court accepted a lower court’s request that justices take up a legal fight over the state’s pension plan. Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford ruled earlier this month that the state can’t require employees hired before July 1, 2011 to contribute 3 percent of their income to their retirement plans. She also struck down a portion of the law that would reduce cost-of-living increases for those employees. Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince, Jorge Labarga, James Perry and Fred Lewis agreed with the decision to accept the case from the 1st District Court of Appeal as “a question of great public importance,” while Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justice Rick Polston would have declined to take the matter up until after the lower court heard the appeal. Oral arguments are scheduled for Sept. 5.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.