Another important issue in which the incumbent Eric Meyer and I
disagree is pensions for politicians: he likes them, I don’t.
As you know, similar to the rest of the country Arizona also faces a
looming public pension crisis. In order to meet our obligations to
current retirees and public employees, we either must reform the system,
or impose huge tax burdens on our children and grandchildren.
In 2013, the Legislature took a very important first step toward
reform, passing HB 2608, which put an end to the costly and extravagant
defined contribution plan for future elected officials and replaced it
with a less expensive 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan.
Fortunately, the reform passed and was signed into law by Governor Jan
State Representative Phil Lovas had this to say during a floor speech when debating this pension reform bill:
public pension plan is the most lucrative lifetime benefit in the State
of Arizona. And, because it is so lucrative it is unsustainable in the
long-term.... This bill ensures the solvency of the plan for elected
officials currently in the system, it modernizes it for new members, and
it provides financial relief for cities and counties. Now ask yourself
these questions. Does one deserve a lifetime benefit simply because
one runs for office? Do politicians deserve to continue having the most
lucrative public retirement system in Arizona? A retirement system
better than teachers, better than fire, better than police?”
Eric Meyer voted no. I would have voted yes.I believe elected officials should make an example of themselves as a first step to curbing unsustainable costs.Eric Meyer wanted to keep his pension at your expense, but thankfully, his colleagues’ common sense prevailed. I applaud all of our elected officials that worked to pass HB 2608 without the help of Meyer.
pension plan for elected officials is in more trouble than any other in
the state—only 58 percent of its liabilities are funded. If revenues
fall short of obligations, taxpayers will be forced to pick up the tab.
Under the old pension plan—the one that Eric Meyer continues to
have—taxpayers contribute a whopping 39 percent of each elected
official’s salary. Under the new plan for officials who are elected
this year, that contribution will drop to a more reasonable 6 percent.
Very few LD 28 residents receive such gold-plated benefits. Nor should our elected representatives.
Fiscal responsibility begins at home. As your elected representative, I
will look to find efficiencies wherever I can—and to make sure we have
the resources to fund the commitments we’ve made. Eric Meyer supports
taxpayer-sponsored spending sprees. Isn’t it time to elect someone who
will lead on pension reform and fiscal responsibility, not obstruct it?
To learn more about our campaign, visit our website.