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Why Vermont's Pension Pressures Mean Other Projects Won't Get Funded

An increasing amount of the state's revenue - now roughly 40 percent - goes toward pension obligations. We're talking about Vermont's retirement liabilities and how they affect state spending on other projects.
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An increasing amount of the state's revenue - now roughly 40 percent - goes toward pension obligations. We're talking about Vermont's retirement liabilities and how they affect state spending on other projects.

Vermont owes $1.5 billion in unfunded teacher pensions. After years of underfunding and low returns, paying for these pensions and other retirement obligations takes up a growing portion of the state budget. We're talking about ways Vermont is addressing these retirement liabilities and how it all affects the state's ability to pay for new projects.

Sen. Jane Kitchel, chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, joins Vermont Edition to discuss Vermont's retirement obligations, how they've ballooned into the billions and what that means for Vermont's ability to pay for new projects.

And John Pelletier, director at the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College and a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable's Pension Reform Task Force, explains how Vermont's pension pressures could mean more demands on state spending and why it leaves Vermont especially vulnerable to a future economic recession.

Broadcast live on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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