Legislative Council approves Millett bill to fix Maine’s education funding formula
AUGUSTA — On Thursday, the Legislative Council approved a bill from Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, LR 3126, “An Act To Remove from the Calculation of the Cost of Education the Maine Public Employees Retirement System State Employee and Teacher Plan Unfunded Actuarial Liability.” The bill would direct the state to more honestly and accurately calculate its contribution to education funding.
“The time is now for Maine to clarify its education funding formula,” said Sen. Millett. “In the past, the unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) was included in one of the calculations of the state’s contribution. Our funding formula should strictly reflect contributions to actual education costs. Including the UAL in that calculation inflates our contribution, when in reality that money is not helping our students and schools.”
The UAL is the difference between employee contributions to the pension program and the overall expected cost of benefits. Eliminating the UAL from the calculation of Maine’s education contribution would give a more honest look at the funding being provided.
Legislation submitted for consideration during the Second Regular Session must be approved by a majority of the 10-member Legislative Council. The Council consists of the 10 elected members of legislative leadership.
The bill was approved by the Legislative Council on Dec. 19, and now will be introduced in the coming legislative session that begins on Jan. 8.