A plan that would increase contributions from public workers and the state to the Public Employees Retirement Association to get the pension system on a path to solvency is nearly on its way to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk.

The House approved the legislation in a 40-28 vote Monday after hours of debate.

Senate Bill 72 calls for a rise in contributions and a temporary suspension of cost-of-living increases for some retirees in an effort to ensure PERA can continue pension payouts well into the future, supporters say. It also calls for reduced cost-of-living increases in the years after the suspension ends.

The House made a technical change to an amendment to SB 72, so the measure will need to return to the Senate for approval before going to the governor’s desk, said Daniel Marzec, a spokesman for the House Democrats.

The governor praised the House vote in a statement Monday.

“With their vote today and with the tremendous bipartisan support this proposal has earned throughout the session, lawmakers have sent a clear message to public employees and public retirees: We will honor the promises that have been made, we will ensure the solvency of our retirement fund and New Mexico’s pension system will remain the best in the country,” Lujan Grisham said.

Read the whole article in NM Political Report.

This article quotes selections from “PERA reform bill clears House,” by Michael Gerstein in NM Political Report, 2/18/2020.