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Arizona Legislature reverses public pension change

Arizona legislators have voted to reverse a cost-cutting decision that made thousands of state and local government employees pay a bigger share of the costs of the state’s main public retirement system.

Workers and their employers had each paid 50 percent of the Arizona State Retirement System’s costs.

That was changed in 2011 so that employers paid only 47 percent while employees paid 53 percent.

But a judge ruled that the change violated the Arizona Constitution’s protection for contracts.

The bill approved by the Senate Tuesday puts the cost shares for both the government employers and their employees back at 50 percent.

The bill also appropriates $40 million to state agencies and school districts to reimburse employees for the return to the old formula.

The House previously approved the bill.

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