* The Arizona Supreme Court ruled today that the state legislature cannot cut state retiree COLAs…
The ruling released Thursday comes in a case brought after the Legislature cut the increases in 2011 for retirees in the state plan for judges and elected officials. […]
The Legislature cut the cost-of-living increases after the judges’ retirement system lost money in the Great Recession and became badly underfunded. The retired judges argued the increases were a promised benefit and lower courts agreed.
The high court agreed the increases are part of a promised retirement benefit and are protected by the pension clause of the state Constitution. That clause bars “diminishing or impairing” public retirement benefits.
The Arizona Constitution is very similar to ours in that regard. But, of course, the ruling has no direct impact here. It could be used by the plaintiffs to buttress their case, however. Our high court often looks at what other state courts have done.