The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is a step closer to addressing some legal concerns with its new pension system for firefighters.
The measure cleared a procedural hurdle today, 18-10. A final vote will take place next week, likely with a similar result.
Judge Robert Dierker issued a preliminary ruling in October that the city was in rights to terminate the old pension system for firefighters and start a new one. But Dierker had some concerns about the way the new system treated vested employees.
Updated at 4:30 p.m. with comments from Jeff Rainford.
St. Louis city firefighters who have served at least seven years with the department will be able to move outside the city boundaries.
The Missouri Supreme Court ruled today that the Missouri Legislature was within its rights in 2010 to pass a law overriding local residency requirements for fire departments in cities where the school district is unaccredited or provisionally accredited.
One day after the Missouri Farm Bureau reaffirmed its support for Congressman Akin, Senator Claire McCaskill announced endorsements from the Missouri chapters of the firefighters and police unions. During a conference call, the incumbent Democrat praised the two groups.
"You know, none of the people who go into this line of work do it for the money," McCaskill said. "What they're looking for is a way to serve and give back and have a salary for their families."
Mayor Francis Slay scored a decisive victory Friday in his months-long battle to rein in firefighter pension costs. In a 17 to 10 vote, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved major reforms to the department’s retirement system, cutting benefits, raising payments, and preventing full retirement until age 55.
Slay’s office estimates the changes will save the city $8 million a year in pension costs that have more than quadrupled in the last five years.
Mayor Slay’s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford says the reforms are necessary and protect taxpayers.