Davidsmeyer among lawmakers playing ‘wait and see’ with pension reform

By Nick Kovatch on October 17 at 12:47pm

Jacksonville’s state representative says he’s waiting for a pension deal from the conference committee charged with fixing the problem.

State Rep C. D. Davidsmeyer says it’s unclear if the committee will have a plan ready during veto session next week.

“It’s one of those things that nobody wants to put on paper until they have the support and it’s hard to get support when you don’t know what’s on paper,” says Davidsmeyer. “We had a conference call probably three weeks ago and the majority party was asking us ‘Will you support this?’ and we said ‘Support what?’. They only had one-third of it crafted and it’s hard to say we’re going to support something when we don’t know what’s going to be landing on paper.”

He says the details of the partial plan being proposed include changing the current 3 percent compounded cost of living allowance to reflect half of the inflation rate with a ceiling of four percent and a floor of one percent.

“The whole idea on the Senate side was to have a given and take, so that’s the take,” says Davidsmeyer. “But the give is lowering the contribution of the state employees, which probably sounds good and feels good when you see that check come in, but the reality is, right now, there’s nothing that says the state has to keep paying which got us into this mess to begin with.”

He says it’s likely any plan will face a constitutional challenge.

The first week of veto session starts next Tuesday and continues through Thursday. Davidsmeyer says if the Thursday session is canceled it would be a good indication a pension reform deal won’t happen, but there’s another week of veto session in early November.