Friday, September 25, 2009

Lawmakers Pledge Support for COLAs – by Robyn Ekings

The Chairmen of the House and Senate Committees on Retirement repeated a pledge this week to find a way to fund Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for eligible retired members of the state’s public retirement systems.

Morgan City Senator Butch Gautreaux and Lafayette Representative Joel Robideaux made the comments this week during an appearance at an annual seminar for the Louisiana Association of Public Employees’ Retirement Systems (LAPERS). “It probably will not be what some people would like it to be,” said Gautreaux, “but it will be something they (retirees) can count on.”

Both lawmakers agreed that this year’s regular legislative session where legislators faced a large budget shortfall created a contentious atmosphere at the capitol, causing them to set aside any requests for a COLA.

They added that they felt a need to support legislation to instead pay down some of the debt facing the largest systems. “We’re going to find it.” said Gautreaux of future COLA funding, “But we’re also going to take care of the systems, make sure they stay safe.” Representative Robideaux added “we did do it for the right reason; we’ll take our shots on that.”

Both lawmakers said they have been attending meetings where options for COLA funding are being discussed.

No comments: