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Counties bristle as bill comes due for pension bill

TALLAHASSEE — A bill passed in the waning moments of the 2013 legislative session with little discussion and signed two weeks later by Gov. Rick Scott will cost state and local governments nearly $900 million in additional expenses next year, hitting county governments especially hard as they struggle to emerge from a prolonged economic slump.

The bill, SB 1810, raised the rates employers must pay into Florida's $135 billion pension fund so that the state could more aggressively manage a deficit in the retirement system. Though the higher level will please conservatives like Scott who want the pension fully funded, it comes at a cost that some say is unnecessary when the stock market is hitting record highs.

The new rates will force 1,000 state, county and local employers to pay more into the system: $177 million from state agencies, $100 million from universities and colleges, $300 million from school districts, $50 million from cities and special districts, and $264 million from Florida's 67 counties.

How did this get bill get passed? Read story here