CONTACT: Mark Hollis
Statement by Rep. Joe Gibbons
Democratic Ranking Member, House Appropriations Committee
No Need To Rush House Pension Plan
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Representative Joe Gibbons (D-Hallandale Beach), the Democratic Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, released a statement following today’s party-line vote on a Republican-leadership bill that would close Florida’s pension system to future workers in exchange for 401(k)-style retirement plans.
House Bill 7011 would halt new enrollments in the state pension in 2014 and force new employees hired by the state or at hundreds of local government agencies, including school boards and counties, to be put into a new defined contribution account, similar to a 401(k) account, where workers will decide how to invest their money. Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee voted in united opposition to the bill today.
Representative Gibbons provided the following statement:
“Florida’s pension system is in good shape, and there is no reason for the Legislature to radically change a healthy retirement system that is relied upon by Florida’s middle class workers, like teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees.
“As the many questions raised in today’s Appropriations Committee indicate, the consequences of advancing this legislation is not yet well understood. There’s no reason that the Legislature should rush into action on controversial pension legislation. The state pension system is not in any imminent danger. In fact, it’s one of the best-funded public pension plans in the nation.
“I am disappointed that my Republican colleagues, with their backing today of this pension legislation, are seeking to remove the security of retirement for hard-working employees and shift financial risks to our middle-class workers and other Florida taxpayers.”