Colorado Democrats offer counterproposal to shore up pension

The changes heard in the House Finance Committee would nix a GOP plan to offer more public workers a defined contribution plan.

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Colorado House of Representatives, March 15, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Colorado House of Representatives, March 15, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Colorado House Democrats are offering a counterproposal to a Republican plan to shore up the state pension, whose unfunded debts total at least $32 billion.

The changes being heard in the House Finance Committee Monday would nix a GOP plan to offer more public workers a defined contribution plan.

They would also eliminate a proposed hike to employee contributions, replacing it with a $225 million payment from the state that would increase annually with payroll.

The Democratic amendments would retain the cuts to retiree benefits approved by the GOP-led Senate, which were deeper than what the pension board had endorsed.

The changes won over the support of teachers and other public employee unions, but are sure to face opposition from conservatives.

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