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.)
See page 2 of the April 2023 Clarion for the most current legislative news.
The Legislature has approximately 2000 bills proposed for the first regular session of the 131st and they have printed 900 as of the end of March. The April Clarion details priority bills for MEA-Retired on page 2.
News on state income taxes and bills.
Don't forget that the first $25000 of your pension is tax exempt for 2022.
Under the Dome
Members of MEA-Retired receive The Clarion 6 times a year, every other month, and it always contains a legislative update. However, no matter how "hot off the press" The Clarion is, the legislative update cannot get all time sensitive legislative and LD activity and calls for action out to members when needed since it is a bi-monthly publication. As a member of MEA and MEA-Retired, you can receive more timely updates in emails called "Under the Dome." It's a one page detailed email written by John Kosinski that summarizes legislative activities and the status of LDs that affect our members. Use the contact form at the MEA website to request the newsletter and if you're a member, you'll be added to the email list. If you have questions, ask your local affiliate president.
Go Here to request being added to the list. In the subject line, write something like, "Add me to Under the Dome."