FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Tim Briggs
House sends pension reform legislation to governor
HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, today released the following statement upon final passage of pension reform legislation in the House:
"The action taken today will protect Pennsylvania residents from huge school property tax hikes to bail out our state's retirement plans.
"This pension reform legislation addresses the deficit the State Employees' Retirement and Public School Employees' Retirement systems are facing by making sensible changes to benefits for future employees."
Currently, the state's retirement systems are in jeopardy due to a combination of investment downturns, pension abuses under previous administrations and the global economic crisis of 2008, as well as increasing benefits and a COLA for retired employees.
Briggs said the legislation (H.B. 2497) includes additional pension reforms agreed to by the House and Senate. The pension relief provisions added by the Senate would provide $3 billion in savings from the current law and $39 billion from the original public pension relief package passed by the House in June.
Briggs said the Senate included a last minute amendment to the legislation to create an Independent Fiscal Office, which has sparked concerns and questions about its constitutionality.
"I have very real concerns regarding the constitutionality of the IFO included in this bill," Briggs said. "It is my hope that the courts will be able to address this matter."