Governor Bob McDonnell's prescription for the ailing Virginia Retirement System includes a 2.2 bilion dollar infusion of cash. McDonnell says historic contributions from the state and Virginia's local governments are needed to shore up the pension plan, but his proposal is already receiving mixed reviews.
Along with state workers, many local government employees and Virginia's school teachers are covered by the retirement system. A recent study showed the pension plan is underfunded by almost 20 billion dollars, but local governments say they are already struggling with other expenses the state has shifted in their direction.
Craig Meadows is the Montgomery County Administrator. "As I've said before, when the state sneezes we get pneumonia, you know, because it's a small thing to them, but it pushes it down to a level for us that the only place we have left to turn is the taxpayers."
The Governor's plan received a warmer welcome from the Virginia Education Association. VEA President Kitty Boitnott described the proposal as an important step toward improving the funding status of the retirement system.
Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing a $2.2 billion state infusion of cash into Virginia's critically underfunded public employee pension system.
McDonnell made the announcement Thursday morning on his monthly radio call-in show on Richmond's WRVA and the Virginia News Network.
The governor says the enormous state contribution to the Virginia Retirement System that's now about $20 billion underfunded will be a centerpiece of the budget he delivers Monday to the General Assembly.
He said the money will come from both unspecified savings and from what he hopes will be sustained modest growth in Virginia's tax collections.