Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Richardson to eliminate future double dippers

Gov. Bill Richardson said today he'll call on lawmakers to do away with so-called double dipping during the 2010 Legislative session. The bill would apply to new hires going forward, and wouldn't be retroactive.

"Earlier this year, I said that I wanted to see the rules allowing for double dipping changed. Unfortunately, the bill lawmakers ultimately sent me raised serious legal issues and I had no choice but to veto it,” Richardson said in a statement. “I moved forward by ordering a thorough review of our return to work rules to analyze their costs, effectiveness and fairness. Today I am proposing responsible reforms that will save the state millions of dollars as well as address concerns of fairness and employee morale."

Under Richardson's plan, changes to the system would include:

-- No PERA retirement for employees collecting a paycheck.

-- No employment by a PERA member employer within 12 months of retiring.

He said those could save $7 million a year. There are more than 500 state employees or 1,600 county and municipal employees who double dip.

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