Corbett vows to tackle Pa. pension costs

    Gov. Tom Corbett is adding pension reform to his list of issues to tackle once Pennsylvania’s budget is approved.

    In the last year, the top items on Corbett’s list of legislative priorities have included a natural gas-drilling impact fee, school vouchers, and finding a way to fund repairs to the state’s roads and bridges.

    Add a new one to the list — pension reform.

    Of all the urgent problems in the state, Corbett says addressing pension costs may be the most central.

    “We have to deal with transportation, we have to deal with — there’s a lot of different things to deal with,” he said Friday. “This to me, is probably driving everything, ’cause if we don’t solve this, we’re going to have this issue of the budget, every year.”

    The governor says of the current $27 billion budget, $1.1 billion will go to pension payments for public workers — teachers and state employees.

    Pension costs are expected to rise to $1.6 billion in next year’s budget.

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