Jindal's Pension Overhaul Reaches State Supreme Court

Mar 20, 2013

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on the constitutionality of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s pension overhaul passed by the legislature last session.

In January District Judge William Morvant overturned the bill that created a 401(k)-type plan because the way it was passed violated the state constitution.

A two-thirds vote is needed to pass any legislation that increases actuarial cost, but the bill was passed only with a simple majority.

Morvant’s ruling hinges on the Jindal administration’s use of outside actuaries that said the new plan would not create more costs. But the legislative actuary’s findings contradicted that and Morvant said only those findings have weight under the constitution.

Skip Philips, the attorney for the state, told the justices that since the state constitution describes the legislative auditor as “a fiscal adviser” rather than “the fiscal advisor” lawmakers can decide which analysis to use.

But Robert Klausner, representing the State Retired Employees Association, argued ultimately the auditor's "note" controls whether a majority or super majority needed.

The Supreme Court could take up to six week to issue a decision.