Proposed amendment would help pay off retirement debt

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There are four retirement systems in the state of Louisiana with a total debt of $18 billion.  Even with that heavy debt, we're told none of the systems is in jeopardy of failing.

After 32 years on the state payroll, worker Robin Hote says she wants to be protected.

"I did my duties I worked my tush off for years with them and I deserve to be able to sit back and not have to worry about my money," said Hote.

Cindy Rougeou is the head of LASERS, the state employee retirement system.  She's putting a good word in for amendment number two.  She says any reduction in the unfunded liability will help.

"Constitutional amendment number two is very important to the retirement system," said Rougeou. "That amendment provides that a minimum of non-recurring revenue be applied toward reducing the balance of the unfunded accrued liability on debt of LASERS and teachers."

Having been intimately involved in budgeting while a state employee, Hote knows the balancing act of providing state services while also maintaining fiscal responsibility.  She remembers the horror stories of the threats of turning off ventilators in hospitals.

"So it is because of those issues that's really hard to decide what is right," said Hote. "I have my own personal self-interest in protection, but I have to consider other people who are less fortunate - they have needs as well."

On October 22nd, voters will head to the polls to decide whether to approve amendment two, along with four other amendments.

PAR Guide to the 2011 Constitutional Amendments

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