Lawmakers reject pension check increase for state retirees
BATON ROUGE - 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 $350 million cost would have come from the retirement systems' excess investment earnings, earmarked for cost-of-living increases.