Update: This bill is back from the dead.
The proposed Pennsylvania pension fix that one Republican leader called “generational theft ” is dead.
The State House announced, Friday, that it will not return as expected nor in accordance with tradition, to address outstanding legislative matters to the ire of Gov. Rendell and Democrat interest groups such as the Pennsylvania State Education Association.
This means the bill must be started from scratch and when the House reconvenes Jan. 4 it will be in the control of Republicans and supported by a Republican governor. The senate had been and remains in Republican hands.
HB 2497 passed the House 192-6 on June 16 and was referred to the Senate which amended it and finally voted on it Oct. 16 when it passed 41-8.
The House, however, did not appreciate the changes the Senate made to the bill, especially concerning the creation of an independent fiscal office to check the governor’s revenue projections and spending reports
State Rep. Dwight Evans (D-203) of Philadelphia, who is the House Appropriations chairman, called the office costly and unconstitutional in a letter to his fellow House members.
State Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-128), who is the minority chairman of the House’s Finance Committee, said in June that the bill merely made minor improvements to the state retirement policy — none of which would apply to existing beneficiaries — but saddled future generations with 30-years of new debt.
IOW, so state leaders can still collect $313,000 pensions .
Pennsylvania taxpayers gave $843 million this year to the two public-sector pension systems — Public School Employees’s Retirement System (PSERS) and State Employees Retirement System (SERS) — that serve more than 675,000 current andretired state government and public school employees.
That contribution will increase to $5.8 billion within two years, according to Commonwealth Foundation.
On a totally unrelated note five of the top 25 paid public employees in Pennsylvania — all of whom earn more than $200K not counting benefits — work for either the PSERS or SERS.