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Teachers seek pension fund bailout

MINNEAPOLIS, May 2 (UPI) -- Minnesota teachers are asking state lawmakers for a $223 million bailout for their pension fund.

The Education Minnesota teachers' union, their retirement association and other groups are asking the state Legislature for between $207 million and $223 million over four years to put their pension fund on sound footing.

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The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Saturday that the proposal is part of a larger package of pension-related measures making its way through legislative committees.

"We do recognize that it's difficult for school districts and the state," said Laurie Hacking, executive director of the Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association, which manages the pension plan.

Proponents of the bailout say the $18 billion pension fund has been hit hard by Wall Street losses. However, critics, including the Minnesota Taxpayers Association, say the state does not have the money given its own financial troubles.

"It's just astonishing how tone-deaf Education Minnesota is, how they are pushing this now," said Mark Haveman, executive director of the Taxpayers Association.

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