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Governors Spotlight: Teacher Pay Hikes, Taxes on Retiree Income, Insurance Bad Faith & More

January 21, 2022

NM Gov Pushes Teacher Pay Hikes

Calling her state’s budget surplus “an unimaginable amount of money,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) rolled out an $8.4 billion budget proposal that marks a 13 percent increase over last year’s proposal. 

Grisham’s budget features numerous benefits to all levels of education, including a 7 percent pay hike for K-12 teachers, almost $200 million to fund early childhood education programs and personnel and $10.5 million to help teachers pay off their student loans.

Pay hikes are also on the table for police officers ($14.6 million) and state workers ($52.4 million). Another $100 million would go to hiring and training more police officers statewide. (SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN, NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR’S OFFICE)

MD Gov Pushes End to Taxes on Retiree Income

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued a budget proposal that would gradually end taxation on retirement income, including on pensions and withdrawals from retirement savings accounts. The change would impact about 70,000 Old Line State retirees and cost the state approximately $188 million in lost revenue. Hogan has also proposed making permanent a temporary expansion of the state’s earned income tax credit adopted last year at the height of the pandemic. (BALTIMORE SUN)

MN Gov Lays Out $2.7B Infrastructure Plan

Calling it a plan that “sets up jobs in the skilled trades for a decade to come,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) issued a $2.7 billion proposal to ease a significant backlog in addressing public infrastructure needs across the Gopher State. Funding for the plan would come from $200 billion in bonds and more than $200 million in cash. The proposal goes now to lawmakers. (MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE)

NJ Gov Signs Insurance Bad Faith Measure

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed SB 1559, a bill that grants drivers hurt in car accidents the right to file civil lawsuits against auto insurers without first waiting for the state insurance regulator to act. The law establishes a private cause of action for motorists against insurers for “unreasonably” denying or delaying claims for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits. (INSURANCE JOURNAL)

NJ Gov Signs Recycled Content Requirement

New jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a bill (SB 2515) that requires Garden State manufacturers to use post-consumer resin in rigid containers, carryout bags and trash bags. The law, which exempts most food packaging for five years, requires 10 percent PCR in non-beverage bottles, 15 percent in beverage bottles, 20 percent in carryout bags, and 5 to 20 percent in trash can liners. (RESOURCE RECYCLING)

NY Gov Pitches Broad Tax Cuts, New Taxes on Short Term Rentals

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) $216 billion budget proposal includes broad tax cuts for residences, businesses and property owners, while subjecting all vacation rentals to state and local taxes as well as the daily New York City Convention Center hotel fee of $1.50 per unit. Temporary tax hikes imposed last year on high earners and corporations would be allowed to sunset. (LAW360 TAX AUTHORITY, SPECTRUM NEWS)

--  Compiled by RICH EHISEN

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