"I was outraged and appalled by the MSPERS bill that passed out of the House Thursday. During the floor debate, Republicans characterized teachers as mere transient paraprofessionals with little regard for the magnitude of the profession and the impact they have on society.

"The fact is, teaching is a profession on the same level, or greater, as a doctor, lawyer or banker. Let’s remember teachers are the ones who prepare and inspire those professionals to pursue their career goals.  Next to a parent or guardian, the second most influential person in our lives are educators. It’s time the majority party hold teachers and the profession in the high esteem they deserve.

"One way we can attract outstanding educators to provide our children with the best education in the nation is to demonstrate our commitment to them by offering an attractive retirement benefit plan."

"The plan that passed Thursday is more expensive for school districts and will result in fewer dollars going into our already underfunded classrooms. This bill would raise costs and increase risk for teachers, all while doing nothing to address the legacy debt that exists within MPSERS. The current hybrid plan is fully funded, so all this third plan does is 'fix' something that isn't broken."

"The bill will head over to the Senate now. I'll join my colleagues in advocating for amendments that will honor the critical role teachers play in our society and give them a stable, secure retirement."