The COLA, the Base and State Taxes on Our Pension. Also, additional wins for students and educators state-wide!
Quick Updates Pension Improvements: The MEA was successful in winning a 4% COLA for this year. The budget lifts the base amount of the pension by 2.4% starting July 1, 2023. It also lifts the state income tax on the pension from $10,000 to $25,000 for the 2022 tax year, and $30,000 and $35,000 in future years.
COVID Sick Leave: The legislature adopted a bill to provide 15 days of paid COVID leave for all school employees. It is retroactive to January 1, 2021. Some had to take unpaid time in order to recover from COVID or care for someone who needed to quarantine, or if your child's school or daycare closed due to COVID. If someone had gone unpaid due to COVID and they had no more leave to use, they must be paid up to 15 days.
State Funding for Education Maintained: For the second year in a row, the state meets its commitment to funding 55% of the cost of public schools.
Deeper Investments in Student Success: Included in the budget is funding for free meals at school for all Maine students, and free community college for 2020-2023 high school graduates.
(Printed with permission from an email to MEA-Retired members from John Kosinski, MEA Government Relations Director.)
(Update 7/21/21, time sensitive)
LD 293 and more - the latest!
LD 293, the bill in the state legislature that would lift the amount paid towards health care for retired educators in the MainePERS system, has been signed into law! Stay tuned for more details.