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.
Time running short, Republicans and Democrats agreed Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama's new immigration policy until the new year.
Retreating with a purpose, Republicans sped legislation through the House on Wednesday to avert the imminent threat of a government default but pointing the way to a springtime budget struggle with President Barack Obama over Medicare, farm subsidies and other benefit programs.