I copied this message from the Florida Public Employees page. It's good information and it is time to get on the phones.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
CONTACT THE LEGISLATORS BELOW IMMEDIATELY
"DON'T BALANCE THE BUDGET ON THE BACKS OF FLORIDA'S PUBLIC WORKERS"
The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee has been holding hearings over the past few weeks concerning radical changes to Florida's public pension systems, both the FRS and local plans. In spite of the fact that all of the information indicates our pension systems are strong and contributing to our overall economy, some seem determined to continue a dangerous course. This Friday, February 18th at 8:00 AM they are holding a public hearing on pensions in Tallahassee. All workers and retirees are needed to contact your elected officials and tell them to leave our public sector pensions alone!
Florida's budget is facing an over $3.5 billion deficit yet they are still talking about tax cuts for the wealthy and eliminating all corporate taxes! In order to pay for those tax cuts, they want to raid our pension systems which are some of the strongest in the nation.
Legislators want to force public sector employees in the FRS to pay up to 5% toward their pension contributions, amounting to a new income tax on our teachers, firefighters, police officers, state and local government workers. Public servants who have sacrificed raises over the past few years to balance state and local budgets and are paid at levels below their private sector counterparts (some state employees have not received pay raise in 5 years, including our brother and sister’s in forestry division Local S20).
Closing the Defined Benefit plan for all new hires, forcing them into risky 401k plans where Wall Street will gamble with our tax dollars. Forcing all new hires into defined contribution plans will cost all taxpayers $150 million the first year, $300 million the second, $450 million the third and so on until 2018!
Reduce line of duty death benefit to be equal to one-half (50%) of the monthly benefit the employee was receiving at the time of the death paid to the spouse or to the child up to age 18th birthday.
Average final compensation will based on no greater than the best 5 years.
Average final compensation for the purpose of compensation for pensionable earnings will belimited to base hourly or annual salaryandexcludeovertime, unused leave pay-outs, or any other forms of compensation not included in base hourly or annual salary (this means incentives, education monies, etc.)
All current insurance premium monies (Fl. St. St. 175 & 185) will be used to pay for current benefits until there are no more unfunded accrued liabilities.
Creating a “Task Force on Public Employee Disability Presumptions” and making potential recommended changes (i.e. the “Heart & Lung Bill, hepatitis, etc.)
CALL YOUR LEGISALTORS ON THE COMMITTEE AND TELL THEM TO STOP ATTACKING OUR PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS AND THEIR RETIREMENT SECURITY.
CALL DON'T EMAIL
Ring, Jeremy (Chair) (D) 32 (850) 487-5094
Siplin, Gary (Vice Chair) (D) 19 (850) 487-5190
Benacquisto, Lizbeth (R) 27 (850) 487-5356
Bogdanoff, Ellyn Setnor (R) 25 (850) 487-5100
Dean, Charles S. 'Charlie' (R) 3 (850) 487-5017
Fasano, Mike (R) 11 (850) 487-5062
Flores, Anitere (R) 38 (850) 487-5130
Garcia (R), Rene (R) 40 (850) 487-5106
Latvala, Jack (R) 16 (850) 487-5075
Margolis, Gwen (D) 35 (850) 487-5121
Montford, Bill (D) 6 (850) 487-5004
Norman, Jim (R) 12 (850) 487-5068
Wise, Stephen R. (R) 5 (850) 487-5027