BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin is trying to drum up support for the LePage administration's plan to deal with a very large unfunded pension liability.
Poliquin spoke to Bangor Republicans at Husson University about the proposals. The budget would require teachers and state workers to contribute an addition 2% to their pensions and retire at age 65 instead of 62. The state would also freeze cost of living allowances for retirees for three years, and then cap increases at 2% annually. Poliquin says this is necessary because of the way previous administrations handled state workers' pensions over the past few decades.
"And so now these folks who created the problem are no longer here," Poliquin said. "It's our responsibility to deal with it, and we will, but we have a $4.3 billion debt."
The Maine State Employees Association says state funding for pensions has increased 44% since 1987 and is not the crisis the administration is making it out to be.