Corbett may enlist Democrats’ help on looming pension crisis

    With Pennsylvania’s budget settled, Gov. Tom Corbett said his administration intends to turn its focus on pension reform. And there may be some new faces at the table.

    Democrats, who make up a minority in both the House and Senate, weren’t needed to secure Corbett’s timely state budget.

    But the governor notes a bipartisan vote was important on other top priorities, including some education moves and the “cracker credit” for Royal Dutch Shell.

    “It was very interesting to see so many Democrats supporting some aspects,” Corbett said. “So, you know, I believe we need to talk to the Democrats on this also. Because this is not a partisan issue, pensions. It has to be addressed bipartisan.

    “So we’ll probably be reaching out them,” he said Monday.

    Hundreds of millions of dollars in state worker and school teacher pension costs threaten to endanger state programs down the road, Corbett says, if something doesn’t change.

    “Otherwise you’re going to see other programs find less and less funding. And it’s not just a problem that we have at the state. Municipalities and school districts across Pennsylvania have that problem. And problems like that across the nation,” the governor said.

    Corbett says he doubts there’s one single solution – a “silver bullet,” as he puts it – to end the pension crisis.

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