Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Question about Retiree Benefits and the Budget

We learned that the State of Michigan’s compromise with the teachers resulted in a 3% increase in teacher contribution to the retirement program. This is a plan to allow the retirement program to remain solvent and for the percentage of the student foundation grant going to retirement to remain close to the same (around 19% of every salary dollar—from the student foundation grant-- goes to retirement benefits). Since that compromise was made, the teachers’ union has sued the State over this and that 3% is now being taken from the teacher’s salary, but it is not being used for retirement, it is being placed in a holding pot while the lawsuit is resolved. It seems like this is an example of continuing partisan wrangling. Do you have a plan for compromising with the opposite party once you are in office? Do you have any insight into keeping our promise to retirees without bankrupting our current operations?