Representatives of state workers and public teachers say by making the increased 1.5 percent contribution rate permanent, the state would be taking dollars out of working people’s pockets.
Rep. James White, R-Albuquerque, responded to Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, that the 1.5 percent increased contribution rate would cost a public school teacher $23 per week.
You’re “not kicking the can down the road but kicking teachers and state workers down the road,” Stewart said.
But Rep. Dennis Kintigh, R-Roswell, rose to defend White’s amendment by saying it would not affect the gross pay of state workers and public school teachers, but to their net pay.
“I commend your courage” in advocating for the amendment, Kintigh said.
Rep. Eliseo Alcon, D-Milan, rose to say that a public school teacher making $40,000 a year would lose $698 for many years if the 1.5 percent increased contribution rate were made permanent.
“Six hundred and ninety eight dollars could be two car payments a year,” Alcon said. “It’s like losing your wallet.”