The Legislative Committee along with the support of ARTC members was actively engaged in lobbying our Legislators and Elected Officials during this Legislative Session to protect and sustain our retirement benefits. In addition to submitting testimony to various committees, we met with Treasurer Shawn Wooden, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff and many Legislators. Our presence in Hartford for both the Meet and Greet and Lobby Day, along with our prepared fact sheet was well received. We also worked closely with our Lobbyist to stay informed and to educate our Legislators on our issues.
ARTC’s lobbying efforts made a difference in sustaining our pension and health funds as well as our tax exclusion. The Legislature passed and the Governor signed the biennium budget. The pension-restructuring plan includes a special reserve fund to insure the bond holders that the State will contribute its full share to the pension account. In addition the budget included the 1/3 contribution to the Teachers Health Fund. Unfortunately, the State tax exclusion on the teacher pensions will remain at 25% through 2021. However, we were successful at removing the initial proposal of capping the exclusion so that the 50% exclusion remains in place.
Because retired teachers do not have a contract with the State, our work is never done! In the upcoming Legislative Session, once again we will focus on protecting our earned pension benefits and our Health Fund, and maintaining the promised tax exclusion
Cathy D’Agostino and Sandra Bove