Rep. Dodge introduces bill to support retired state employees

Fri, 02/17/2023 - 10:00pm

    AUGUSTA — Rep. Jan Dodge, D-Belfast, introduced LD 70, An Act to Eliminate the Cap on Retirement Benefits for State Employees and Teachers to Which a Cost-of-living Adjustment Is Made, before the Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Housing this week.

    This bill would amend current statute to provide an automatic equal percentage increase in retirement benefits whenever there is a percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index. The matched percentage would apply to a retiree’s entire yearly benefit.

    “This bill will allow state pensions to truly stay on par with inflation and help retirees make ends meet,” said Rep. Dodge. “State pensions have not kept up with rising costs, and as a retired teacher of 31 years, I am one of the thousands of retired teachers and state employees who have had their Cost of Living Adjustments cut to balance state budgets. This bill would rightfully better support the folks who committed their careers to taking care of our state and those they share it with.”

    The Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee will hold a work session on the bill in the coming weeks.

    LD 70 is one of three bills submitted by Rep. Dodge this session to support retired teachers and state workers. LD 112 would increase the state's share of retired teacher health insurance. The third bill does not yet have an LD number.

    Dodge, who represents the towns of Belfast, Belmont and Northport, is serving her third term in the Maine House. She sits on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.