Under Gov. Paul LePage's proposed budget, teachers and other state employees will be required to increase their contributions to the pension system, from 7.65 percent of their salary to 9.65 percent.
One public employee currently paying 7.65 percent, however, won't see an increase.
The governor has exempted himself.
Unlike teachers and state employees, however, the size of the governor's pension doesn't depend on how long he pays into the system. As soon as he leaves office, he'll begin receiving a three-eighths of his salary, which works out to $26,600 annually.
For comparison, a Maine teacher would have to work for more than 25 years to receive this level of benefits.
LePage's budget shows the same lack of fairness on a larger scale as well. Last week, LePage's commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Sawin Millett, explained that the money raised from these payment increases on teachers and public employees isn't targeted to shore up the state's pension system, but will instead pay for other budget priorities, including $203 million in tax cuts.
Maine's wealthiest residents will benefit the most from these cuts. One percent of households, those earning more than $360,000, will see their income taxes go down by $2,700. The budget also would double the size of estates that are exempt from the estate tax from $1 million to $2 million, a provision that would benefit only about 550 Maine families and cost the rest of us $30 million.