You live within your budget, so must our government, again this year we balanced our state budget with no tax increases. I worked on bringing the state retirement fund into line with the retirement you get at your job. By going from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan, like you probably have, we will save $314 million over the next five years. In my position on the Retirement Committee, I have worked for more savings on these plans through more efficiency, while protecting the integrity of the public retirement plans and their ability to meet the obligation we have to our retired workers. I worked to protect funding for independent living centers, and to minimize the impact of budget cuts to K-12 and higher education.
I supported the effort to increase revenues to the state through tax amnesty legislation. Had that passed it would have provided more than $30 million in additional money to our budget.
I also supported the cap on the salaries of appointed directors and deputy directors of state offices to that of the lowest-paid statewide official. This would reduce the salaries of department directors and deputy directors -- dropping some from the mid-to-upper $100,000s to between $80,000 and $90,000. By cutting salaries for 43 senior bureaucrats we could save taxpayers more than $1.1 million. Unlike the federal government, we can not print money, raise taxes dramatically or borrow from foreign countries. We must work to make government more efficient.