Corbett pushes for immediate vote on Pa. pension changes

    Governor Tom Corbett is calling on Pennsylvania House Republican leaders to schedule a vote on a public pension overhaul bill.

    So far, the measure has failed to garner enough support to pass the chamber.

     

    For weeks, House Republicans have tried, in vain, to find votes for a measure largely reducing retirement benefits for future state and school employees.

    But the governor is insisting on the pension issue, saying he wants to see a vote — even if the measure fails.

    “The people of Pennsylvania are entitled to know who’s willing to work on pensions and who isn’t,” he said Thursday.

    Pennsylvania’s borrowing ability hangs in the balance, Corbett said.

    Passing the pension overhaul means credit-rating agencies would not downgrade the state’s bond rating, he said.

    But that’s not a guarantee.

    The rating agencies have warned lawmakers to do something that reins in the state’s pension debt, approaching $50 billion.

    The House proposal now would do little to reduce the existing pension debt, according to the state’s actuary. Nor does the bill move Pennsylvania toward larger payments on that debt.

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