The Federal Supreme Court (STF) formed a majority to maintain the payment of pensions to former governors or their dependents when these benefits were granted before the practice was considered unconstitutional by the Court. The trial will take place in the virtual plenary until next Monday (20). So far, the score is 6-2.
Ministers can still change their understanding and the trial can be interrupted by a request for prominence, which sends the case to the physical plenary, or by a request for review, which gives the minister requesting more time to analyze the case. The payment of old pensions was questioned by the former Attorney General of the Republic Augusto Aras, in 2020, through an allegation of non-compliance with a fundamental precept (ADPF).
Aras argued that the continuity of these retirements and pensions violates constitutional principles such as equality, impersonality and public morality, reported the Brazil Agency. The PGR pointed out the existence of payment of these retirements and pensions in Santa Catarina, Acre, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, Amazonas, Rondônia, Paraíba, Sergipe and Pará.
In the trial, the divergence opened by Minister Gilmar Mendes prevails, for whom, in the cases questioned, there is an acquired right to salaries. In his vote, the minister wrote that pensions must be maintained “by virtue of the constitutional guarantee of legal security”. Ministers Dias Toffoli, Edson Fachin, Alexandre de Moraes, Cristiano Zanin and Nunes Marques accompany Mendes, forming the majority.
The rapporteur, Minister Cármen Lúcia, and Minister Luiz Fux were the only ones who have so far voted to suspend all payments. “Anyone who does not hold the elected position of Governor of the State, having had his mandate terminated, cannot receive payment from the people for work he no longer performs, unlike any other public agent who, except for retirement under the constitutional and legal conditions established , does not have this privilege”, wrote the minister.
Only the votes of the President of the Court, Luís Roberto Barroso, and André Mendonça remain. In several judgments over the last few years, the Supreme Court has already overturned dozens of state and municipal laws that provided for the payment of retirement or lifetime pensions to former governors or former mayors and their dependents.
Now, however, the controversy concerns payments that began to be made before the practice was considered unconstitutional. In Acre, for example, the state government reported that there is a battle in the state courts, with decisions in favor of maintaining payments. In states such as Minas Gerais and Pará, payments were suspended, but are still the subject of dispute.