Paying down the State’s unfunded pension liability was the cornerstone of the Governor’s FY2015 budget…
Gov. Parnell: “The rising payments on the unfunded pension liability not only squeeze the operating budget, they’re unsustainable, it’s also wrong because it leaves a sizable debt for our kids and grand kids to pay off, we should not put this debt off on them, we should do what we can with what we have now to pay it down.”
But yesterday the House Finance Committee drew a red line through the proposal, cutting the $3 billion payment from their operating budget.
The Committee pulled the pension funding from the Governor’s $12.2 billion budget proposal, forwarding a $9.1 billion plan. The pension payment would have come from state savings, but House Representatives say they’re still not sure how to address the debt.
Finance Co-Chair, Rep. Bill Stoltze…
Stoltze: “Its not the legislature comes in with animosity but its the healthy skepticism of getting answers and looking at the whole financial picture.”
This year’s payment is $629 million, expected to be $703 million next year. The Governor said his plan would reduce that to a flat $500 million annually until 2036.
Overall, the Committee cut about $41 million in unrestricted general funds from what Parnell proposed. Unrestricted funds are money that isn’t restricted in its use by the law, constitution or something else.
Public testimony on the bill will be taken this week.