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Hutchinson, Senate Finance Committee Approve Pension Reform Bill

June 20, 2013

A state Senate committee has moved a pension reform bill to the Senate floor after gutting many of Governor Tom Corbett’s proposals..

Senator Scott Hutchinson, from Oil City, said Wednesday that the longer it takes to address pension reform, the worse the problem will become.  Hutchinson added that we owe it to taxpayers, current and future, to “cap future debt.”

The stripped-down bill was amended to impact only future state and public school employees.  Beginning in 2015, they would be placed in a defined 401(a) plan.  An amendment removes all language affecting current employees.

Another amendment exempts the State Police and corrections employees.

Critics have said the measures could cost taxpayers more in the long run.

Radio PA News reports the bill cleared the committee by a one-vote margin.  The Governor has said he wants a pension reform plan passed before the legislature breaks for the summer.

Meanwhile, a state House committee heard testimony Wednesday on pension reform proposals.  The House State Government Committee heard from both sides of the issue.  Michael Crossey, the president of the state’s largest teachers union, says the most recent changes passed under act 120 in 2010 are working.  Republican committee member Brad Roae, from Crawford County disagreed, and pointedly grilled Crossley on the topic.

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