Judge Jackie Fulford Says State Pension Plan Unconstitutional

Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford has once again ruled against the reform efforts last year of state legislators and Gov. Rick Scott.

Fulford declared Tuesday that the less-than-year-old law to require state employees to contribute 3 percent of their pay toward the pension program is unconstitutional.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, have already said an appeal -- from either side -- is expected.

Cannon has said the decision shouldn’t affect budget plans that were completed in conference meetings on Monday.

“No matter how a single circuit court judge rules on a single issue, that presents no reason why we should change any of our existing obligations this year or take any other immediate action,” Cannon said on Feb. 24.

The Florida Education Association, which filed the lawsuit with a number of public-employee unions, contends legislators violated the state Constitution, which required the changes to be negotiated through collective bargaining.

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