So the underlying bill the House is debating now asks state workers and public teachers to pay 3.25 percent more in contributions to their retirement plans to help balance the state budget for the year that starts July 1. In total, that increased contribution rate wold save the state nearly $90 million.
Here is how the increased contribution rates are broken down: state workers and public teachers would pay 1.5 percent more for two years starting July 1; and 1.75 percent more for one year, starting July 1.
Here’s what each would save the state:
1.5 percent = $42 million
1.75 percent = $49 million
Rep. James White, R-Albuquerque, wants to make permanent what the state originally did two years ago when it raised what state employees and public teachers pay into their retirement plans by 1.5 percent. The state took that action plans two years ago to help balance that year’s budget. That 1.5 percent increased rate was meant to only last two years, ending this June 30.
“I stand in opposition to this amendment,” Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, D-Gallup, told Rep. James White, R-Albuquerque, who wants to make the 1.5 percent increased contribution rate permanent.
“This is a very difficult decision, but we’ve kicked the can down the road,” White said during the ongoing debate.