Legislators React to Governor's Scolding on Pension Reform - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Legislators React to Governor's Scolding on Pension Reform

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Governor Corbett has finally signed the state budget.  But, at the same time, he sent a strong message to the Pennsylvania Legislature.
He wants lawmakers to return to Harrisburg and take action on pension reform.

The governor, while signing the budget, did veto $72 million from a fund that finances the general assembly. He was making a point. The governor is upset that the legislators increased their own budget, the General Assembly budget, by 2%, and are charging taxpayers $5 million for legislators' parking.  But, at the same time, the governor points out, that taxpayers are paying more and more in property taxes to support the rising costs of public pensions.

Representative Pat Harkins, a Democrat from Erie, says Corbett is talking tough for a reason.

"It seems like a last-gasp from the governor with his election coming up.   He knows his numbers are down and this is something he feels he could snooker the public with.   But I think the public is sharper than what he anticipates," said Harkins.

Representative Brad Roae, a Republican from Crawford County, supports the governor's stand on pension reform.

"There's probably going to be some mixed reactions from my colleagues,"said Roae. "I'm sure  some people are probably going to be pretty upset, and there's probably going to be other people, like me, that says, "Bring it on.   Get us back to Harrisburg.   Have us pass the pension reform we need to pass."

Legislators are due back in Harrisburg on August 4 to debate whether to impose a $2 a pack cigarette tax for Philadelphia.  Both Harkins and Roae say the issue of pension reform may be discussed then.

 

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