When Vermont’s Legislature appointed the Pension Benefits, Design, and Funding Task Force, there was a good chance tax increases would be discussed at some point. Now, Vermonters have a little clearer idea of what those could look like.
CFV hopes that having this information will help the Legislative Pension Task Force to ask the tough questions about the total compensation of public employees that are necessary as they set about making the changes to address the $4.5 Billion pension liability situation.
The notion that public school teachers are at a financial disadvantage relative to their private-sector counterparts has been debunked in a new study by Vermont-based think tank Campaign for Vermont.
The unfunded liabilities for the Vermont State Teacher’s Retirement fund increased last year by $379 million as compared to the 2019 valuation while the same liabilities increased by $225 million in the Vermont State Employees’ Retirement, according to numbers from State Treasurer Beth Pearce.
“I’m challenged to agree with your assessment of this way of determining sustainability, because we may have thought we were buying a $200,000 house and may in fact be that we are buying an $800,000 house or a $1 million house,” Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas said.
Only through making painful cuts to spending can the Legislature ‘admit guilt’ to taxpayers in their willful neglect of fiscal responsibility. Let’s not let them shift the blame for underfunded pension to taxpayers.
The state’s largest union for public workers, the Vermont-NEA, is asking that the state use as much federal money as possible from its massive $5 billion influx over the past year to pay down an ever-increasing liability in its pension program.
Rejiggering the pension commission and creating another task force is kicking the ever-larger can — now the size of a bulk tank — further down the road.
House leadership admitted last week that if we had followed the recommendations from 12 years ago our pension funds wouldn’t be in the shape they are today. A number of other pieces of legislation, including ethics, broadband, and economic development also moved forward last week.
State Treasurer Beth Pearce and some lawmakers from the Senate Government Operations Committee were at odds Wednesday over the proposed creation of an oversight commission to make recommendations on the state’s ongoing public worker pension crisis.
The economic development bill found itself in hot water this week as senators look to slash funding for a number of projects — some of which may be critical to economic recovery. The pension discussion is moving from the House to the Senate as well.
Some Democrats are getting scared and are starting to see the political writing on the wall. Just this week, Democrat Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy both came out in favor of the repeal of military retirement taxation — standing in stark contrast to their own caucus. It’s about time.