BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers on the House Retirement Committee deadlocked on a proposal that would steer more money to retirement debt by taking dollars from an account used to pay cost-of-living increases to retired state workers.

The committee voted 5-5 Thursday for the proposal, stalling it.

After the vote, Rep. Kevin Pearson, chairman of the committee, shelved similar proposals for the retirement systems for teachers and state police. It was unclear if he would seek to later revive the measures.

At issue is how to shrink the multibillion-dollar debt of the statewide retirement systems, while also addressing inflationary costs for retirees.

Pearson says the state needs to cut the systems' debt to ensure their financial viability for retirees. Opponents say the bills would unfairly harm retirees who weren't responsible for building the debt.


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