Whitmer: Delaying pension payments has ‘long-term cost’

Posted at 3:35 PM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 15:35:49-04

DELHI TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says suggestions that she has opened the door to delaying the elimination of debt in Michigan’s teacher retirement system to help boost road spending are “overstated.”

The Democrat said Thursday there’s “ultimately a long-term cost of pushing off (the) paying off of our debts,” and using such a mechanism would mean “we’re forgoing opportunities in the future.”

She said she “certainly is not endorsing” the concept, but added it’s hard to weigh in with specificity without seeing details. She spoke after reading to schoolchildren near Lansing.

Whitmer’s proposed 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax hike has been rejected by Republicans who control the Legislature. She has previously criticized a conservative business group’s proposal to borrow $10 billion to boost the pension fund and free up money for road repairs.