11/20/2010 - A movement across the nation to lighten the load on taxpayers from public-employee pensions got a boost at the polls this month. Voters in at least a half-dozen states, including Florida, elected governors who vowed to reduce pension costs. Voters in California and Illinois cut such costs on their own through local initiatives.
In the 10 months preceding the elections, 19 states reduced their pension bills by raising employee contributions or curbing benefits, according to a new study from The Pew Center on the States. Last year, 11 states took similar measures, and in 2008, eight did.
So far the pension reform wave hasn't washed over Florida, where state and local taxpayers pour in more than $3 billion a year to fund public retirement benefits. Even timid proposals to reduce pension costs died during the last legislative session.
Read the entire editorial Don't Ignore Pensions on the Orlando Sentinel Web site.