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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Lawmakers reject pension check increase for state retirees

Lawmakers reject pension check increase for state retirees

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — An effort to give retired state employees and teachers a cost-of-living increase in their pension checks has stalled.

The House Retirement Committee deadlocked in a 6-6 vote Thursday on the proposal by Rep. Sam Jones, a Democrat from Franklin, effectively killing the 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment.

Jones described escalating expenses for retirees, particularly double-digit increases in the state health insurance program.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration opposed the pension hike.

Ben Huxen, with the Division of Administration, said the bill would violate a law enacted last year to strengthen retirement plan finances. He said it could weaken Louisiana's standing with credit rating agencies.

The Advocate reports the $350 million cost would have come from the retirement systems' excess investment earnings, earmarked for cost-of-living increases.

Online: House Bill 42: Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.