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Senate ready to require state and local workers to contribute to retirement

Sen. Jeremy Ring, the Margate Democrat who heads the Senate Governmental Operations Committee, said Senate leadership is ready to end the free retirement now enjoyed by teachers, firefighters, legislators and all other state and local employees in the  Florida Retirement System.

"We're one of the last state's in the country that doesn't have a contribution and while I think everything's on the table and I don't have a number I feel pretty contribution that a core part of this discussion is employee contributions,'' Ring said after a hearing on pension reform.

Ring said it will be another three weeks before he releases a proposed committee bill as he waits for the actuarial report he has ordered his committee staff to compile. Based on those numbers, Ring said he will decide how much to set the contribution rate for employees.

 "I want to be sensitive to a lot of things,'' he said.  "If you have a number of 6 percent, which I'm not saying is the number, it's very different from the $100,000 DMS worker than it is for the $20,000 school bus driver."