Connecticut Dems’ budget hikes bottom line, eliminates teacher pension shift
HARTFORD >> (Updated 11:47 a.m.) The Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee would increase spending by about $200 million each year over Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal, but it would spare municipalities the burden of picking up the $400 million in teacher retirement costs.
The Democratic spending plan that is expected to be debated later Tuesday afternoon increases spending by $199 million in the first year and about $204 million in the second year of the budget.
In order to help make up for sparing cities and towns the shift in the teacher pension costs, the Democratic spending plan would give them about the same amount of money they received this year from the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account, which was created in 2015 as a way to help share part of the state’s sales tax revenue with municipalities.
Lawmakers and local leaders objected loudly to the governor’s plan to move a portion of the teachers’ retirement system costs over to municipalities, saying it would force local governments to increase property taxes. The Malloy administration has argued that cities and towns can handle the cost shift and it would help them better negotiate teacher salaries, which are used in calculating pension costs.
But local municipal officials were still holding their breath Tuesday as they waited to see exactly what the proposal would mean for their cities and towns.