An amendment to raise the pension COLA base to $16,000 for state and teacher retirees was adopted by a 153-0 vote during House debate on May 2nd. The amendment, which was offered by Representative Frank Hynes (D-Marshfield), came during the final day of House debate on the FY ’09 State Budget. Because the amendment included a provision to extend the state’s unfunded pension liability payment schedule from the current date of 2023 to 2026, local government retirement systems, which have their own individual funding schedules, could not be included in Rep. Hynes’s amendment. It is important to our Association that all retirees, state and local, have the same opportunity to increase their COLA base from $12,000 to $16,000.

The Senate will begin debate on the budget May 20. At that time, an amendment to the Senate budget will include the same language as the Hynes House amendment as well as a similar amendment for local retirement systems on a home rule basis. We anticipate intense floor debate on these two Senate amendments. Stay on top of this situation via this website, or our toll-free telephone hotline which will have full daily coverage. Hotline reminder: 1-800-368-8778.