RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Governor Bob McDonnell has proposed spending more than 2-billion dollars on state employee and teacher pensions during the upcoming two-year budget period. He made that announcement back in December. He also said it would be quote "the largest employer contribution to the Virginia Retirement System in history."
So is that true? Is the governor's proposed contribution to the Virginia Retirement System historic? According to the reporters at Politifact Virginia - the governor is *right on.*
The governor's spokesman says the claim is based on VRS data. Granted the retirement system began in 1942 and the VRS doesn't have records of employer contributions before 1973. But a VRS spokeswoman says the number of teachers and state employees before 1973 would have been lower. So it's not likely that contribution amounts would have exceeded 1973 levels.
After 1973, the largest employer contribution came in the 2007-2008 biennial budget. Total state and local contributions were 1.72 billion dollars. That's lower than McDonnell's proposal. So McDonnell's claims pass the test.
"The amount of money that the governor is proposing to put into the retirement system for teachers and state employees, an amount which would be split between the state government and local governments - it would be the largest contribution in history, even adjusting for inflation," said Sean Gorman with Richmond-Times Dispatch.
You can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com.