Cities, towns call on governor, lawmakers to create pension comm - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Cities, towns call on governor, lawmakers to create pension commission

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

At the heart of the state's budget woes are pensions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget called for transferring some of the costs of teacher pensions to cities and towns.

Thursday, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities called on Malloy and the General Assembly to instead create a commission to assess the situation.

The Pension and Retirement Benefits Reform Commission would look at and determine the best pathway for sustainable pensions for state and local governments.

“Recognizing the deep financial burden that current public employee pension systems have placed on the state and the need to give this matter the benefit of thorough analysis by all stakeholders, CCM’s Board of Directors is requesting that the [fiscal year] 18-19 state budget proposal establish a Pension and Retirement Benefits Reform Commission,” said CCM  Executive Director Joe DeLong to Malloy and lawmakers. “The Commission would examine state and municipal employee pension matters, including the Municipal Employees Retirement System (MERS) and the Teachers’ Retirement Fund; funding strategies, tier levels and other matters, as well as the sustainability of other post-employment benefits."

DeLong said the commission would then propose recommendations to the governor and state leaders by Feb. 1, 2018.

"No municipal contribution to the TRF should be included in the agreed-upon budget proposal until the review and resulting recommendations have been completed," he said.

Connecticut has been without a state budget for 97 days,

Republicans pushed a budget through the state House of Representatives and the Senate; however, Malloy vetoed it because he felt it was unbalanced and legally unsound when it came to state pensions.

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