The Delaware County (Pa) Patriots, the county’s tea party group, has taken a stand against HB 2497 , which state House Finance Committee Minority Chairman Sam Rohrer has called “generational theft “ .
The bill attempts to resolve the severe funding shortfalls of Pennsylvania’s largest pension plans — Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) and State Employees Retirement System (SERS) — by deferring pension payments and increasing the unfunded liability by tens of billions of dollars.
Rohrer of the 128th District was only one of six to vote against HB 2497 when it passed the Democrat-controlled House on June 16. The bill with amendments passed the Republican-controlled Senate on Oct. 16 by a vote of 41-8.
The amendments required a new vote in the House, however, but on Nov. 5 lame duck Speaker Keith McCall announced that his assembly would be quitting for the year which would require the process to start from scratch in January under a Republican-controlled House.
Five days later , McCall changed his mind. The House will return on Nov. 15 when it is expected to vote on HB 2497.
The Delco Patriots note that the bill was crafted by the public employee unions who would most benefit from it and merely postpones the reckoning as to how to fund the burgeoning public pension obligations.
It is asking all taxpayers to contact their state representative and urge a no vote.
Commonwealth Foundation notes that the pension obligations are expected to be $5.8 billion on the taxpayer by 2012 — a six-fold increase from today — which translates to a $1,360 increase in state and local taxes for the average homeowner. The data can be found on a link to a pdf file on this page.
A bill introduced in the senate, SB 566 , would create a defined contribution plan for new employees in which the employer would contribute 6 percent of salary into a retire-fund owned by employees with a matching amount coming from the employee.