Senate, House Leaders Dismayed by Governor Wolf’s Planned Pension Veto

(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34), Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne (R-16), Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-28), House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-62) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph (R-165) have issued the following statement regarding Governor Wolf’s planned veto of pension reform legislation:

“We are dismayed by Governor Wolf’s comments on KQV radio today stating that he will veto the pension reform package because ‘it’s still not good for employees moving forward…we’re not going to attract good employees to our system with that part of the pension bill.’  Further, the notion that we are close to a compromise on a pension reform plan, when we only learned this morning of the veto via the press, is a bit disingenuous.

“It is remarkable that Governor Wolf would oppose a proposal to move new public employees into a 401k-style retirement plan which he, himself, adopted for his employees at Wolf Organization.  Apparently, the Governor believes this type of plan, which is common in the private sector, is adequate for most hard working Pennsylvanians, but not for legislators or members of public employee unions.

“With this planned veto, he is rejecting tangible, systematic changes to reform the public employee pension systems, which are currently the number one reason for property tax increases.  Governor Wolf’s plan to borrow to pay pensions does not fix the problem. We have clearly seen that Governor Wolf’s actions speak louder than his words on wanting to provide property tax relief.

“We are unsettled by his continued willingness to bow to the desires of special interests while disregarding what the people of Pennsylvania recognize as needed reform. The reality is that with this veto, Governor Wolf will be taking another step to ensure Pennsylvanians pay significantly higher taxes, in order to fund an outdated retirement system which is out of step with what average Pennsylvanians receive.

“In the last 10 days the Governor has vetoed a balanced, no-tax-increase budget; an historic liquor privatization plan to finally give consumers convenience and choice when purchasing alcohol; and now today has said he will veto a pension reform bill that would save taxpayers over $10 billion. Instead of working with the General Assembly to move Pennsylvania forward, Governor Wolf continues to be fixated on massive income and sales tax increases. For someone who has pledged to create a ‘government that works,’ he’s certainly doing everything he can to make sure it doesn’t.”

 

CONTACTS: 

Jenn Kocher (office) (717) 787-1377; (cell) (717) 574-6872; or jkocher@pasen.gov

Steve Miskin (office) 717-705-7173; (cell) 717-756-3936; SMiskin@pahousegop.com