UPDATE: SB-52 and SB-749 are expected to be brought up for votes today in the Senate!
The Jindal administration's attack on employment security for state workers is teetering on the brink of failure after opponents to what was considered the least controversial of the three bills in the package defeated the bill on its first vote.
SB-47 did not muster 20 votes in the first vote the Senate took on it on Wednesday afternoon just before 5 pm. The bill was reconsidered five minutes later and approved by a vote of 23-13. One account of yesterday's events says the reconsideration of the bill was the result of trickery on the part of a Republican senator.
SB-47 would extend the window over which a state government employee's pay would be averaged to determine retirement benefits from the final three years of employment to the final five years. Compared to SB-52 and SB-749, it is mild stuff.
SB-52 would raise the state employee contribution rate to the state employee retirement system. SB-749 would change the terms of eligibility for state employees to collect their full retirement benefits.
Votes on SB-52 and SB-749 were set for Wednesday, but were delayed by Sen. Elbert Lee Guillory after he had trouble getting votes for SB-47.
The Times-Picayune reported that Sen. Guillory as saying he needed to count his votes on the other bills after the near-defeat of the first bill in the package.
The Advocate reports that despite the trouble with SB-47, Guillory and the administration refused to admit what was plain to everyone else -- the retirement package is in deep trouble in the Senate.
The Associated Press reports that despite big changes in the provisions of the two bills that await Senate action, opponents continue to maintain that the changes to the retirement plans of existing employees are unconstitutional.
The bottom line here is that opposition to these radical retirement changes is growing. Your calls and emails to your Senators are working! We cannot let our guard down! SB-52 and SB-749 remain on the Senate calendar, subject to vote at any time the full Senate is in session.
Your can help again TODAY!
We need you to call your Senator (Democrat or Republican) and let them know -- in no uncertain terms -- that the state's obligations to its public employees are too important to allow changes in those obligations to be rushed into law.
Calls are more effective than email! Call your senator's district office
and call their Capitol office!
If you cant' call, then send your Senator an email
If you are on Facebook, post a link and comment on one of the retirement stories we've included above. If you see a link to one of these stories by one of your friends, like it or share it.Democrats need to stand up for the state Constitution, stand up for the sanctity of contracts, and stand with state workers to fight against the Jindal administration's hastily drawn, poorly thought out measures to punish them. We can defeat the Jindal administration and these measures!