Correction: Judge’s Pension Ruling Today Expected To Cause Florida Budget Deficit

Mar 6, 2012

  • Please Note the Corrected Headline Above

Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford has ordered the State of Florida to immediately stop withholding three percent of state workers’ pay for pensions. 

The ruling is expected to cause a deficit of up to $2 billion in the State budget that is currently being negotiated in the Florida Legislature.

The Miami Herald report is reprinted below.


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Judge rules against the state, calls breech of contract “unconstitutional taking”

By Mary Ellen Klas; Published March 6, 2012

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford declared Tuesday that the legislature’s decision last year to cut state and local government worker salaries three percent was unconstitutional and ordered them to refrain from continuing the practice immediately.

Fulford said that she understands the “role of the judiciary is to interpret the law before it; not to make law” but to do that she would have had to ignore the law and added “this court cannot set aside its constitutional obligations because a budget crisis exists in the State of Florida.”

She ruled that the legislature’s action was “an unconstitutional impairment of plaintiff’s contract with the State of Florida, an unconstitutional taking of private property without full compensation, and an abridgement of the rights of public employees to collectively bargain over conditions of employment.

“To find otherwise would mean that a contract with our state government has no meaning, and that the citizens of our state can place no trust in the work of our Legislature. Those are the findings this Court refuses to make.”

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