Gov. Corbett to legislature: Show your vote on pensions


Gov. Corbett on Thursday called on the legislature to show its hand and vote on a bill that seeks to rein in the rapidly rising cost of public employee pensions.

“The people need to know who is willing to work on behalf of the taxpayer,” said Corbett, who in an unusual move, walked up to the Capitol newsroom to speak with reporters.

The governor has said he is willing to let the state’s June 30 budget deadline pass if legislators don’t act on his priority initiatives.

One of those priorities is legislation to make changes to the pension system. As it stands, negotiations on the issue in the legislature are bogged down in disagreements.

The governor backs a proposal that would only impact new employees, and would combine a traditional, defined-benefit pension with a 401(k)-style plan to provide a smaller benefit than current employees receive. It is expected to save more than $10 billion over a 30-year period.

For his part, Corbett has said that if the legislature does not move on a pension bill, he will not even consider any plans to use taxes to close a more than $1.4 billion budget gap.

Said Corbett Thursday: “I can’t see today a budget coming to me real fast.”

--Angela Couloumbis

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