Senate bills would cut revenue sharing, shift pension costs to municipalities

Bills calling for increased local contributions to two state pension programs and an overhaul of a community assistance program have been proposed in the Alaska Senate as lawmakers look to further cut costs amid a bulging budget deficit.

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Senate President Kevin Meyer, Jan. 26, 2015. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)
Senate President Kevin Meyer, Jan. 26, 2015. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Measures introduced Monday would increase local contributions to the public employees’ and teachers’ retirement systems. They also would phase-out a state-sponsored scholarship program and scale back the community revenue sharing program.

Senate Finance Committee co-chair Pete Kelly says money from the scholarship program would be used to ease the initial impact on districts from the proposed increase in teachers’ retirement system contributions.

The executive director of the Alaska Municipal League, Kathie Wasserman, says she doesn’t know where lawmakers expect communities to come up with an increased share for the public employees’ system.