COLA for retired state employees, teachers up in air

Gov. Bobby Jindal challenged on retiree cost-of-living increase
June 10, 2015
GOVERNOR VETOES HB 42 (COLA BILL)
June 22, 2015

A dispute between the Louisiana House and Senate continued Thursday over a cost-of-living raise for some 130,000 retired state employees and teachers.

Earlier, the House voted to grant a 1.5 percent pension check boost effective July 1. But the Senate version of House Bill 42 would delay the average $30 a month bump until July 1, 2016.

Bill sponsor state Rep. Sam Jones asked the House to reject the Senate change and his colleagues complied on a 77-10 vote.

The action sends the cost-of-living adjustment issue to a House-Senate conference committee with only hours left in the 2015 legislative session.

If the raise is not granted this year, Jones argues that legal constraints in state law would prohibit one next year and potentially for the next three years.

The Franklin Democrat said the retirees are struggling with escalating costs of state health insurance.

The money to fund the COLAs is in special pension system accounts set aside for the purpose.

A COLA is not supposed to be granted until next year because of a 2014 state law aimed at improving pension system finances.

 

Follow Marsha Shuler on Twitter @MarshaShulerCNB. For more coverage of the state capitol, follow Louisiana Politics athttp://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog/.

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