March 24, 2015

Budget Hearings: Senate GOP Looks To Change Pensions For Current Workers

At the Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing Monday with the State Employee and School Employee Pension Systems, Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), Majority Cair, suggested changing the pension system for existing employees.
That was followed up later by Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) Senate Majority Leader speaking at the PA Press Club who said he had 30 votes now for the proposal, which was first suggested by Gov. Corbett, but rejected by Republicans.
On the question of whether changing an existing employee’s pension would be an impairment of an employment contract, Sen. Corman said we could always go back if we need to.
Sen. Corman also said Gov. Wolf’s plan for floating a $3 billion bond to make a payment on the state’s unfunded pension obligations was turning soft debt into hard debt and asked how the state could again go to Wall Street for money without making substantive changes.
As a final point on the issue, Sen. Corman linked action on pension reform to enacting a state budget for next fiscal year saying, “No other issues will be discussed until there is real, substantive pension reform.”
State Employee and School Employee Pension Systems appeared at both the Senate and House Appropriations Committee Monday.
Click Here for a copy of the School Employee Pension System written testimony.  Click Here for a copy of the State Employee Pension System testimony.
Click Here to watch a video of the Senate hearing.
Written testimony and a video of each House hearing will be posted on the Republican House Appropriations Committee webpage.  Information about Senate budget hearings are posted on the Senate Republican Caucus website.