Retirees Call for COLA Hikes

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More than 300 retired education employees rallied on the Statehouse steps Wednesday and applauded state officials who endorsed cost-of-living increases totaling six percent.

House education budget committee Chairman Richard Lindsey told the retirees that the Legislature is working on a four percent COLA for this October and another two percent for October 2006.

Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley told the Alabama Education Retirees Association that she's 100 percent behind the increase.

Gov. Bob Riley did not propose a COLA for retirees because he said the state couldn't afford it, but the chief executive of the state pension system, David Bronner, says there appears to be enough support to approve it in the Legislature.