FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2011
CONTACT: Mike Philipsen
Majority Leader to author bill that will put money back into teachers’ paychecks
(Phoenix, State Capitol) —Senate President-elect Steve Pierce and Majority Leader Andy Biggs announced today a bill will be offered in the upcoming legislative session ending the recent 53% employee/47% employer contribution rate split. That split went into effect in July, as part of the FY 12 budget. The change plugged a $40 million hole in the budget and reduced employee paychecks.
The bill will return the contribution rate split to 50/50, and increase the paychecks of teachers and other state employees by $20-40.
“Last session we made a commitment to Arizonans to deliver a balanced budget. The 53/47 split helped that happen, but many members agreed it was one of the toughest decisions they had to make. Conditions have changed, and I am comfortable now running a bill to repeal 53/47,” says Majority Leader Biggs.
“The truth is, the economic landscape is very different from March, when these budget negotiations were taking place. Because of our fiscal discipline and an improving economy, revenues are coming in at a much higher clip, and we can reverse this contribution rate change,” says President-elect Pierce.
“Republican leadership continues to put a high priority on strengthening education during these difficult times. We held K-12 reductions to about one percent last year. Today’s announcement is another way to honor the hard work of our district and charter school teachers,” says Pierce.