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Malloy budget proposal includes municipalities paying to fund pension plans

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HARTFORD -- Connecticut cities and towns are facing the possibility of having to pay one-third of the cost of teacher pensions.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday his new budget proposal would require municipalities to contribute $407.6 million in fiscal year 2018 and $420.9 million in fiscal year 2019.

"Cities and towns however, do not contribute to the fund," said Malloy at a press conference Friday afternoon. "This is a noteworthy point because cities and administrators are, after all, municipal employees...at a time when state government is making difficult cuts we can no longer afford to exclude how we afford to pay for teacher pensions from this conversation."

Teachers currently contribute 6 percent of their salary to the Teacher's Retirement System. The state pays 100 percent of the employer's share, which will be $1.2 billion this year.

Betsy Gara, executive director of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns, says Malloy's proposal will "impose a huge burden on local property taxpayers'' in small communities.

"It's very difficult to assess the impact of this specific proposal until we see the full budget package that will be proposed by the Governor next week," said Mayor Luke Bronin of Hartford. "I look forward to reviewing the Governor's full budget proposal, and I look forward to working both with the General Assembly and the Administration in the months ahead to help put Hartford and the Capital Region on a path to fiscal health and growth."

Malloy says policymakers must consider changes in teacher pension funding. The new budget beginning July 1 is projected to be up to $1.7 billion in deficit.

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