Teachers have been speaking out forcefully against plans to shift the cost of teacher pensions onto cities and towns and raise property taxes, saying such plans would unfairly burden local taxpayers and lead to cuts in education and other essential services.
Yesterday it seemed that lawmakers on a key legislative committee were poised to respond to their constituents’ concerns and pass a budget that would maintain the state’s responsibility to fund retirement costs. At the last minute, budget talks fell apart however, and the Appropriations Committee did not approve a budget.
Given that state income tax receipts are currently coming in at $267 million less than had been anticipated—which will only add to the over $3 billion budget deficit already forecasted for the next two fiscal years—the road to a final state budget is likely to be a long one.
Please continue to remind your legislators about their commitment to students, teachers, public education, and funding the teacher retirement system.
A final budget isn’t expected to pass the House and Senate until June at the earliest—and with a new, unexpected shortfall to fill, legislators will continue to examine every means available by which to balance the state budget.
Let legislators know that shifting the costs of teachers’ retirement onto local taxpayers is not the answer.