Maine Teachers Fear Proposed Pension Freezes 

A day after union state workers filled the Maine State House, active and retired teachers are lining up to tell lawmakers they can’t afford freezes and other changes Gov. Paul LePage is proposing in his budget. Friday’s hearing before the Appropriations Committee marks the third consecutive day public employees have massed in Augusta to speak out on provisions in LePage’s $6.1 billion, two-year budget. Mary Richard of Bangor, who’s retired from teaching in Lincoln, says any cut in a Maine teacher’s pension is going to be a burden, given rises in the cost of living. Grace Leavitt of Raymond, who teaches Spanish in Cumberland,says she’s never seen teachers so “demoralized and downtrodden.” Issues of concern include increased retirement age, freezing cost-of-living increases and higher pension contributions. (AP)