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How should Vermont solve its public pension shortfall?

a photo of Vermont's state house and golden dome on a spring day
Angela Evancie
/
VPR File
Vermont House lawmakers on Tuesday will take up pension reform legislation that has already passed the state Senate.

Live call-in discussion: Vermont House lawmakers on Tuesday will be discussing legislation that would help shore up the state's public pension system.

The legislation, which already passed the Senate, is the result of months of negotiation between lawmakers and the unions representing state employees and teachers. It would invest $200 million toward unfunded pension liabilities, and would not change the benefits of current retirees and beneficiaries. The unions, in exchange, have signed off on increases in worker contributions to pensions, and also agreed to modest reductions in retirement benefits.

But Gov. Phil Scott is calling for revisions to the legislation. While the Governor said he supports the bill's general framework, he thinks it doesn’t go far enough in reducing the state’s unfunded liability in the pension system. He also wants a provision that would give new state employees the option of choosing a 401K-style retirement plan.

Our guests:

  • Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas, Democrat, co-chair Pension Benefits, Design, and Funding Task Force
  • Aimee Towne, president, Vermont State Employees Association
  • Peter Hirschfeld, statehouse reporter for VPR

Broadcast live on Tuesday, April 26, at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.