A transfer so as to add again a 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for state employees’ pensions that the state took away in 2011 began to maneuver within the Home this week, nevertheless it may finally falter amid resistance within the Senate.

The Home Appropriations Committee unanimously permitted the invoice (HB 151). It might add a 3% COLA for members of the Florida Retirement System enrolled earlier than July 1, 2011, and it will apply to the primary $150,000 of annual profit.

Home finances chief Tom Leek, an Ormond Seaside Republican, pushed for the COLA addition final yr as a part of negotiations with the Senate on the ultimate spending plan, nevertheless it didn’t make it into the ultimate settlement, regardless of different pension boosters making the minimize.

He mentioned there’s nonetheless a necessity for the COLA to enhance recruitment and retention all through the state workforce amid a decent labor market. Leek mentioned the Home is prepared to pay for it — regardless of the $2.1 billion price ticket for state and native governments subsequent yr — although he and Home Speaker Paul Renner, a Palm Coast Republican, have warned of slowing revenues and the necessity for a tighter finances this yr.

“The coverage choice is one which we’re prepared to pay for,” Leek informed reporters Wednesday. “We completely nonetheless see the necessity.”

However Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a Naples Republican, threw chilly water on the prospect of the COLA addition this yr.

“At this level I don’t see it making it to the end line. We’ve got so many different points we have to deal with,” she informed reporters Thursday.

The Senate model of the invoice (SB 242) hasn’t obtained a listening to within the Common Session.

And in contrast to final yr, the COLA addition hasn’t been included in both chamber’s finances payments. Which means it gained’t be a part of the formal negotiations between the Home and Senate over the ultimate spending plan, additional lowering its prospects.

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