Senate to debate police, fire pension overhaul

Posted at 6:51 AM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 08:51:18-05

The full Arizona Senate is poised to debate and vote on a proposal overhauling the state's badly underfunded public safety worker pension plan.

Thursday's expected action comes after a Senate panel unanimously advanced the plan backed by government agencies and most firefighter and police agencies in Arizona on Wednesday.

The issue is pressing because public agencies have seen their contribution rates to the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System soar to make up for the underfunding.

Peoria Republican Sen. Debbie Lesko says she expects unanimous Senate passage, House passage appears less secure, and Representatives are expected to take up the plan next week.

Lesko wants the bill on Gov. Doug Ducey's desk within two weeks so it gets on the May 17 special election ballot for required voter approval.