Last week we reported House Speaker Will Weatherford's push to reform the public pension system for the state's teachers, firefighters and police. A bill that would end the current defined benefit pension plan for all new employees is making its way through the Legislature, despite the fact that no one knows how much the transition would cost state taxpayers.
A report issued by Milliman — a Vienna, VA, firm — at the end of last week said such a move would hurt the benefits of those currently enrolled in the plan, creating a shortfall that would require either workers or taxpayers to pick up the slack. But it didn't include how much it would cost to keep the current system. This morning, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Weatherford put his plan on hold for now.
In many cities and counties in this country, current pension plans could ultimately bankrupt those governments, requiring major changes. But that may not be the case with the Florida Retirement System. You might think our leaders would have all the relevant data at hand before pushing for such a major change. You'd be wrong.
In other news, the state's newest university, Florida Polytechnic University (that's got a nice ring to it, don't you think?) is now asking for $25 million. That annoys a lot of folks, including Pinellas House Democrat Dwight Dudley.
The more I cover Hillsborough County Democratic politics, the more I realize how much it's one big club, and outsiders have a tough time making their way in. That's one way of looking at why two of Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern's colleagues are supporting her Democratic party opponent, April Griffin, in the race for County Commission in 2014.
And take this as a warning, especially if you write about politics for a living: The Daily Currant is a satirical website, not a serious conservative news organization. Might save some embarrassment down the road.