Effort to strip pension issue from ed bill fails

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

An effort to pull a plan for addressing the state's pension obligation for teachers from a broad-ranging education bill failed on a 5-5 vote.

Juneau Rep. Cathy Munoz said the proposal, contained within the House Finance Committee rewrite of Gov. Sean Parnell's education bill, has not been adequately vetted.

Munoz said she did not support the plan, which could exhaust the teachers' retirement trust fund over a period of decades and require contributions, potentially from state general funds, to pay future benefits. She said it would burden future generations, rather than addressing the issue more directly early on. She called it morally wrong.

Committee co-chair Bill Stoltze said he wasn't completely sure on the approach. But he said he had more questions than certainty on an alternative proposal by Parnell.