- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A bill headed to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk would provide $14.3 million a year to the Duluth teachers’ pension fund and another $7 million per year to the St. Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund.

The funding was part of a larger bill the Senate passed Thursday, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported (http://bit.ly/1rSUAlm ). The House passed the measure last month.

The St. Paul fund needs assistance because it doesn’t have enough assets to cover its liabilities, said Senate President Sandra Pappas, DFL-St Paul. She said the Legislature had decided in 1978 to help the district by allowing it to reduce its payments to the fund, but the end result was a long-term shortfall.

Republican senators argued that the funding amounted to bailouts for St. Paul and Duluth. They proposed amendments to reduce or block the payments but were unsuccessful.

The state aid would continue until the pension plans are fully funded. That’s predicted to happen in 2042.

The bill would also merge the Duluth fund into the state teachers’ pension plan. St. Paul’s pension fund would remain independent.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com