Tags: Economic- Crisis | ohio | pensions

Ohio Working on New Double-Dipping Laws

By    |   Wednesday, 04 January 2012 04:23 AM

Ohio’s “double-dipping” bill is again coming before the legislature in hopes of stopping the state’s public officials from collecting a salary and pension check at the same time. Ohio State Rep. Rex Damschroder believes the legislation will pass this time around, because there is “public outrage” when a well-paid employee, becomes eligible for a pension and then returns to the job, reports the Columbus Dispatch.
Damschroder, a Republican, rejoined the state House this year after serving from 1995 to 2003, when he left office because of the state’s term-limit laws. He said double-dipping was a problem the last time he was in office as well.
“I get back and the issue’s still here, and nobody’s done anything about it,” said Damschroder, lead sponsor of the re-introduced legislation. “The pension system is designed for people who quit working. I don’t think it was ever designed for someone to line his pockets in the last few years of his working career just because he can.”
Meanwhile, even legislators are double-dipping: 16 collect state pensions, 1 has a congressional pension, and another receives U.S. Navy retirement pay, according to the liberal policy group Innovation Ohio. Fourteen of the congressmen are Republicans and two are Democrats.
House Speaker William G. Batchelder, one of the double dippers, is a 35-year veteran of the House who left because of term limits.
He became an appeals judge and returned to the house five years ago. His salary is about $94,000, and his pension from Ohio’s Public Employee Retirement System is more than $100,000.
The legislation could be linked to the state’s pension reform. The state’s pension proposals include higher retirement ages, lowered cost-of-living adjustments, and larger payroll deduction.

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