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1995 Maine Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (1995)

handle is hein.sag/sagme0023 and id is 1 raw text is: 95-1

ATTORNEY GENERAL                                                   REGIONAL OFFICES:
STATE OF MAINE                     TEL: (207) 941-3070
PORTLAND, MAINE 04101-3014
FAXpn: (207 2-45            STATE HOUSE STATION 6                  TEL: (207) 822-0260
FAX:: (207) 822-0260
March 20, 1995
Senator Dana C. Hanley
Representative George J. Kerr
Chairs, Joint Standing Committee on
Appropriations and Financial Affairs
State House Station #5
Augusta, ME 04333
Dear Senator Hanley and Representative Kerr:
I am writing in response to your inquiry of March 7, 1995, concerning the
proposal of Governor King to limit the State's contribution to the Maine State
Retirement System for teacher retirement costs in the upcoming biennium. Your
question is whether such action, if enacted, would constitute a state mandate
within the meaning of Article IX, Section 21 of the Maine Constitution. For the
reasons which follow, it is the Opinion of this Department that the Governor's
proposal would not constitute a mandate.
The Governor's proposal is contained in Part G of Legislative Document 706,
the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Years 1996 and 1997. As you describe it,
the proposal would limit any increase in the amount of money which the State
would contribute to the Retirement System for teacher retirement costs to 3 percent
of the aggregate salary base of the teachers in the preceding fiscal year. Any
retirement costs in excess of this limit, caused by an increase in a teacher's salary of
more than 3 percent over the preceding fiscal year, would have to be borne by the
School Administrative Unit employing the teacher. Your question is whether such
an action, if adopted by the Legislature, would count as a state mandate within the
meaning of the constitutional provision.
Article IX, Section 21 of the Maine Constitution provides, in pertinent part:
For the purpose of more fairly apportioning the cost of
government and providing local property tax relief, the

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