Louisiana Political News Wire
Pay Down State Retirement Debt Now, Two Urge
by WILL SENTELL - Advocate (excerpt)
State leaders should consider using more than two-thirds of the budget surplus to help pay off Louisiana’s $10 billion retirement debt, leaders of two retirement groups said Monday.
Without drastic action, they said, the state’s retirement obligation soon will start gobbling up a huge part of the budget and cripple aid for schools, roads and bridges and other services. “We have this window of opportunity,” said Cindy Rougeou, executive director of the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System. Rougeou and Maureen Westgard, director of the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana, made their comments to the Press Club of Baton Rouge.
Rougeou said Senate Retirement Committee Chairman Butch Gautreaux, D-Morgan City, has said he wants to use upward of $600 million of the $865 million state surplus to trim retirement obligations during the legislative session that begins April 27.
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