Pension Litigation Summary outlines recent court decisions

HOUSTON, TX—In the first quarter of 2013, judges in Florida, Louisiana, and California issued decisions in cases related to pension reform. The details of those rulings and information about other ongoing court proceedings are outlined in the first quarterly update of the Pension Litigation Summary. The report, published by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), provides a centralized overview of recent pension reform litigation across the U.S.

“Many state and local governments are taking steps to reform their pension systems in an attempt to control pension debt. Once those reforms are enacted, they’re often challenged in the courts,” Stuart Buck, LJAF Strategic Litigation Counsel and Director of Research, explained. “Our team has combed news articles and the websites of federal and state courts to develop a comprehensive collection of information about pension reform litigation.” Dr. Buck said LJAF is currently aware of 54 lawsuits that were filed or that were the subject of a court decision between January 2009 and April 2013. Recent decisions outlined in the latest quarterly update include:

The Florida Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling and determined that the legislature has the authority to make changes to the state’s retirement system.

The 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge struck down pension reform legislation and stated that the legislature violated the state constitution by enacting the law after failing to approve the measure by a 2/3 majority.

The California Public Employment Relations Board issued a preliminary opinion finding an unfair labor practice violation against the City of San Diego. The pension reform measure was blocked as it was determined to be subject to collective bargaining requirements before the voters could approve it.

The Pension Litigation Summary is part of LJAF’s broader Public Accountability efforts to promote transparency and improve the efficiency and efficacy of the public sector. The next quarterly update will be published in July.

About the Laura and John Arnold Foundation

LJAF is a private foundation that currently focuses its strategic investments on education, criminal justice, research integrity, and public accountability. LJAF has offices in Houston and New York City. www.arnoldfoundation.org.

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