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House committee passes pension bill


A House Republican plan that would force public workers to pay 3 percent into their state pension plan won approval on its final stop in that chamber.
The plan would also close the deferred retirement option program to new participants and raise the retirement age.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Mitch Workman was passed on a party-line vote – and to the jeers of the firefighters, teachers and other public workers who packed the room.
“Shame on you!” someone shouted.
Rep. Ed Hooper, a Clearwater Republican and retired firefighter, called it the hardest vote of his career.
But he said he knew that “something’s going to change in the pension world in the next 45 days.” So the choice, he said, boiled down to the House version or the Senate’s, and the House bill “is the best in the building.”

Rep. Ron Saunders, the House’s Democratic leader, said the bill would make public workers the only ones in Florida subject to what is essentially an income tax.
“If that’s not an income tax, show me what an income tax is,” he said.

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