Pennsylvania Lawmakers Vote Down Pension Overhaul Bill


The Pennsylvania House this weekend overwhelmingly voted down a bill that would have overhauled the state pension system.

The bill was passed by the Senate and would have been signed by Gov. Tom Wolf. The House was the bill’s only obstacle, and it failed to pass as it was met with bi-partisan hostility.

The bill, which Pensino360 covered last week, would have radically altered the state pension system, enrolling new hires in 401(k)-style plans and changing benefit formulas.

But pension officials had come out against the bill because of a provision that would have allowed the state to reduce its annual contributions to the pension systems.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

As Democrats voted against the bill first in committee and then on the floor, they said they had never agreed to the pension portion of the deal.

“This was a Republican initiative inserted into the framework, and it’s their ball to get across the goal line,” said Bill Patton, spokesman for House Democrats.

Across the aisle, Rep. Eli Evankovich, R-Murrysville, said the state should change its pension systems in a way that would be “a bigger win” for taxpayers.

It was unclear what will happen next. The House called a meeting of the Appropriations Committee but then canceled it so leaders could have further talks. A plan for the House to meet in session Sunday was pushed off to Monday.

Mr. Corman, who has advocated for changes to the pension systems, seemed deeply disappointed by the vote.

“We could have had everything today,” he said. “We could have walked through the door, had major accomplishments, got a budget that sustained us for the future and moved Pennsylvania in the right direction fiscally, with great public policy victories, helping our consumers of wine and spirits getting into the private sector.

“Instead, they walked away from it,” he continued. “It’s unbelievable to me that they would do that.”

The final vote count was 149 – 52.


Photo by Governor Tom Wolf via Flickr CC License

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