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Rep. Kathleen Chase (R-Wells), Lead House Republican on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee
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For Immediate Release

Date: 01/21/14

Appropriations Committee Handles Budget-Busting Pension Bills

House Republicans committed to protecting 2011 state pension reforms

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee on Tuesday held work sessions on a slew of bills relating to the state pension.

One bill taken up but eventually tabled by the committee for consideration at another meeting aims to repeal a key provision of the pension reform measure enacted in 2011 by the then-majority Republican legislature and Governor Paul LePage. Other measures heard but killed Tuesday included bills to bolster cost-of-living increases and retirement benefits.

"Nearly three years ago, we enacted reforms that cut Maine's long term pension shortfall by over 40 percent with reasonable changes to automatic payout increases and by increasing the retirement age from 62 to 65 for new state employees," said Rep. Kathleen Chase (R-Wells), the ranking House Republican on the Appropriations Committee.

"It's important that we continue to fight for Maine's fiscal future to protect taxpayers and ensure a stable pension system for our retirees," added Rep. Chase. "Some of the bills we considered today would have worked against that goal."

The 2011 pension reforms included in the biennial budget reduced the long-term shortfall in the system from $4.1 billion to $2.4 billion, or 41 percent. The reform has been lauded by bond ratings agencies as improving Maine's credit position.

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Contact:
David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793