Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Didn't I tell you the editorial board of the Arizona Republic will have a sad over this ruling? Arizona Supreme Court smacks down Arizona's lawless legislature, again: "State lawmakers cannot balance the budget by limiting pension benefit increases for retired judges, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday."
Sure 'nuf, here is the "editorial board" of the Arizona Republic arguing in favor of wage theft from retirees -- keep in mind this is deferred compensation that these employees bargained for in good faith and have earned by performing their end of the bargain. They are entitled to receive payment in exchange for their performance. Reform pensions or lose them:
The Arizona Supreme Court just handed an enormous past-due bill to taxpayers.
The state Legislature’s attempt in 2011 to rein in the costs of poorly performing pension plans is unconstitutional, according to the justices. The Arizona constitution forbids reducing public-pension benefits, which effectively means that no matter how high the costs go, taxpayers simply will have to find a way to pay them.
As a result, the pension board will have to pay out $7.9 million to bring the tab current for beneficiaries of the Elected Officials’ Retirement Plan, a part of the state’s worst performing pension trust, the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.
The ruling also applies to other beneficiaries of the PSPRS whose benefits were temporarily curtailed. That adds another $32.1 million for retroactive raises. The system will set aside $335.6 million to fund cost-of-living adjustments going forward.
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The 5-0 Supreme Court decision may be perfectly rational and predictable — a constitutionally guaranteed promise made must be kept, after all. But it leaves Arizona taxpayers in a position of disturbing vulnerability, one that begs for a constitutional amendment that will allow lawmakers to make the sorts of changes the justices now say they cannot.