Published: Sep 07, 2012 12:07 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida Supreme Court justices are sounding skeptical about a lawsuit that says forcing public employees to help pay for their pension costs is illegal.
    
The high court held a hearing on Friday to consider the lawsuit filed by five unions, including the Florida Education Association.
    
Lawmakers in 2011 began requiring public employees in the Florida Retirement System to contribute three percent of their salaries to cover part of the cost.
    
A Leon County judge earlier this year ruled the changes violated contract and collective bargaining rights. The state appealed the ruling.
    
Justices hearing the case Friday questioned the ruling and they suggested legislators have the right to make decisions to help balance the state budget.
    
If the ruling is upheld it could the state $2 billion.

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