Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Advocate: Vote 'yes' on Amendment 3

In its Sunday, October 7th edition, the Baton Rouge Advocate argued in favor of proposed Constitutional Amendment 3.

Amendment 3 — Retirement — Yes

The Louisiana Constitution today mandates that the state pay down by 2029 existing state retirement system obligations. For political reasons, these payments get a lot higher the closer to the deadline we get. It’s at least a requirement that retirement system obligations be met, as they weren’t for many years.

The new amendment would make it more difficult for the Legislature to increase benefits without providing for the money to pay them. Funding for retirement benefit increases would be identified in the legislation, and the cost of the benefit would be funded within 10 years, not 25 years as current law.

The amendment would apply to the four major retirement systems for state employees, State Police and school employees. It would not apply to the retirement systems for local government, particularly elected officials. Fiscal responsibility is unfortunately ladled out in small doses in the State Capitol.

Still, this amendment provides a reality check on retirement benefit increases. We urge voters to approve it.

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