Gov. Hickenlooper characterizes last-minute deal on PERA as a fair compromise | VailDaily.com

Gov. Hickenlooper characterizes last-minute deal on PERA as a fair compromise

Jesse Paul and John Frank
The Denver Post
photo -COlorado Legislature, Teacher Rally

Thousands show up in red during a teachers rally for more educational funding at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, April 27, 2018. Thousands of Colorado teachers showed up at the capitol to demonstrate the need for increased funding. The Colorado Education Association said the walkouts are necessary to alert residents and lawmakers about the status of school funding in Colorado. The stateÕs schools are currently underfunded by $822 million and are $2,700 below the national average in per-pupil funding, the CEA said.

Colorado's largest teachers union on Thursday slammed an eleventh-hour deal reached Wednesday night by lawmakers to stabilize the state's underfunded pension system, saying they were especially frustrated that the plan reached deep into educator's pockets after thousands of educators recently protested at the Capitol recently demanding more money.

"We are very disappointed in our elected officials who did not support educators and retirees, and even chose to take money out of their pockets," said Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association, in a statement. She added: "This is bad policy done in haste."

But Gov. John Hickenlooper — who made a late-trip visit to a Democratic caucus meeting to lobby lawmakers to support the bill for Public Employees Retirement Association — characterized the deal as being fair.

"When you step back and look at who made more, who made less, I think they work out pretty evenly — especially when you adjust them for who is getting benefits, who's not," the term-limited Democrat told reporters Thursday. "It's certainly in the self-interest in the state. We don't want an obligation as large as PERA to even have a hint of vulnerability. And that's what this does. This really will take us very rapidly back into compliance."


Read the complete article from The Denver Post.