Some new state legislators were elected after promising to refuse a state pension, but now find the law does not allow them to opt out. However, State Rep. Diane St. Onge has introduced a bill that would allow them to make good on their promise. The Madisonville Messenger reports that the measure would allow any lawmaker to opt out of the state pension system and would prevent any new legislator elected after July 1 from entering it. Incumbents would not have to drop the pension plan under the legislation.
St. Onge says while ending some legislator pensions won’t solve the $30-billion pension shortfall, the measure would make reform easier by setting an example. Rep. Brian Linder says he would join St. Onge in dropping his state pension if the bill becomes law.