The meeting began with the House Co-Chair describing the problems with the pension as just “A math problem,” which triggered a strong response from VSEA appointee Eric Davis who reminded the Taskforce that this work was about people and not simply a problem of arithmetic.
Chris Rupe from the Joint Fiscal Office presented information on strategies to lower the unfunded liability and the amount the State of Vermont has to contribute from the General Fund, The ADEC or Actuarially Determined Employer Contribution.
This presentation triggered a very strong response from the labor side of the table because it included ideas that were part of both Treasurer Pearce’s and Speaker Krowinski’s plans. VSEA representative Leona Watt pushed back, calling these plans a “Slap in the face to State Employees,” and made it clear that they would be nonstarters in this Taskforce.
The Labor representatives gave the Co-Chairs a list of witnesses they would like to hear from, including the State Auditor Doug Hofer and Former Commissioner of Labor and Former VSEA Executive Director, Annie Noonan as well as representatives from pro-pension organizations who work on pensions nationally and Paul Cillo from the Vermont based Public Assets Institute.
The meeting ended with a discussion about potential revenue sources, items they would like the actuaries to analyze and a discussion about increased employee contributions.
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