New state retirement benefits would have to include a way to pay for them within five years under a bill that won Senate approval on Monday. The measure, Senate Bill 127, passed the Senate 36-0 and next faces action in the House. It is a constitutional amendment that requires the support of two-thirds of the Senate and House and a majority of voters statewide to take effect.
Senator Walter Boasso, D-Arabi and sponsor of the bill, has complained for years that the state needs to make major changes in its retirement systems. Debt for just two systems – retired state workers and public schoolteachers – totals about $11 billion.