The Minnesota House overwhelmingly passed a plan to make small changes to the state’s pension systems.
The House passed the measure on a mostly partisan vote of 79 to 52.
Rep. Mary Murphy, a Hermantown Democrat who chairs State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs Committee, said the measure will improve the state’s pensions and bring them closer to being fully funded.
The Duluth teachers’ pension will be folded into a larger state pension fund, costing taxpayers $15 million a year. Declining student enrollment and fewer teachers make the Duluth pensions no longer sustainable, according to an analysis.
“It is fraught with problems,” said Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester. He said the measure increases the risk of “a train wreck down the road” and wants a tougher look at pensions.
Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he'd be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.
Other business groups like realtors, electric utility Xcel Energy Services, private colleges, tobacco giant Altria, Polymet Mining, health insurers and hospitals contributed to the overall total of $57.7 million to lobby the Legislature, the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton and Metro municipal governments.