Independent law firm report suggests Jindal's retirement bills are unconstitutional
By Lauren Rodgers
BATON ROUGE, LA: Earlier this month, we reported on the reactions of members of the Louisiana State Senate to Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposed budget. Their objections were centered on budget line items that were tied to the passage of specific pieces of state legislation.
That's not the only recent proposal of Jindal's administration that is being scrutinized by the state's legislative branch. The Louisiana Legislative Auditor's office recently hired an independent law firm to review Jindal's overhaul of state employee's retirement benefits. The firm released a report yesterday in which they found key proposals of the plan are likely to be ruled unconstitutional.
Jindal's proposal would raise employee contribution rates from 8 percent to 11 percent, move the age of retirement to 67 and calculate the monthly retirement payment on the employee's last five years of salary (rather than the current three years). Public school teachers and law enforcement workers would be exempt from these provisions.
Jindal's administration argues the proposed changes would help cut the costs of retirement, safeguard state services and protect the pool from which pensions are paid. Opponents believe the proposals break contracts the state made with employees when they were hired.