Capitol Report – Feb 5, 2021

The third interim committee week just wrapped up.

I have a few takeaways in general to share before I discuss the Senate Government Oversight & Accountability Committee on SB 84 (FRS Retirement).

Don’t assume the Legislature will go along with Governor DeSantis’ rosy budget outlook. The questions and comments from both Appropriations Committee meetings indicate the Legislature has a different outlook about our near term economy.
The Florida Senate is moving at an unhesitating pace right now. The speed seems designed to place everything President Simpson wants at Speaker Sprowls’ doorstep with a “your move” sign.
Not sure how intriguing it is inside the executive suite, but, from the outside at least, the mystery of who may replace Chief of Staff Shane Sturm should he leave has taken on a life of its own.

SB 84 Retirement by Senator Ray Rodrigues-

The first hearing on SB 84 was on Thursday in the Senate Government Oversight & Accountability Committee. This proposal was deemed an initial offering by the Senate sponsor and Chairman of the Committee Ray Rodrigues. There are actually eight concepts that the Senate is looking at for possible reform to the Florida Retirement System. You can watch our zoom discussion here from an in depth review of the concepts.

In the bill’s current form, SB 84 will close the pension plan to all new hires effective on or after July 1, 2022.

Although, this proposal is not designed to directly cause harm to active employees and retirees, the Florida PBA is still very much opposed to closing the plan to new hires. We strongly believe a full closure will have a negative effect on recruiting officers into the ranks and keeping the new officers who come in. Also, we know from previous studies on the full closure concept that the system will require massive infusions of new revenues in order to cover the costs of those remaining in the pension plan. Estimates from 11 years ago set the additional costs at $150 million per year for 8 years. At yesterday’s meeting, we offered comments against closing the pension plan.

Once the studies are completed, we will have a better picture of where this proposal may be headed. In the meantime, we remain in contact with the sponsor about our concerns with the proposal.

Please stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.


Matt Puckett
Executive Director