BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - At the capitol, with the stroke of a pen, Governor Bobby Jindal puts a smile on state retirees who will get a cost of living adjustment or cola for the first time in years. The legislation not only gives a cola but puts a dent in the unfunded accrued liability or UAL.
"The message that we send to Louisiana today is that we care," says Elbert Guillory,R-Opelousas. "We care about the workers who have given 20, 30, 40 years of their lives in service to Louisiana and we care about the taxpayers who labor under the burden of an unfunded liability. The bills that the governor will sign today will address both of those."
The exact amounts of the cost of living increase won't be known since it's a percentage of the earnings from the pool of money invested by the retirees.
"It's a good piece of legislation that's going to work and help our hardworking retired people that made a commitment to public service for several years and through their life," says House Speaker Chuck Kleckley.
No one at the podium debated whether or not the legislation was deserving. It was a matter of finding a formula that would allow those increases.
"These different bills when you put them all together will give a cola increase and reduce the UAL and pay off the UAL faster for taxpayers literally saving billions of dollars over the next 30 years," says Governor Bobby Jindal.
All state retirees will be included regardless of which system they retired from.