Rep. Schlossberg votes for state pension reform

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today voted to pass legislation (S.B. 1), a bill which would alter the retirement plan offered to new employees in the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System and the Pennsylvania Public Schools Employees’ Retirement System. 

State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, said since taking office, pension reform has been on the agenda each time the budget process has been underway and he has repeatedly cast votes opposing a variety of pension reform proposals.

Schlossberg issued the following statement regarding S.B. 1, the latest pension overhaul effort:

“I voted in favor of S.B. 1 because I feel it achieves a critical end: In the event of another stock market crash, risk is shifted away from the taxpayers, which is largely responsible for much of the current crisis. To be clear, this bill does nothing to address the current unfunded liability. That will take real revenue and political courage to fully solve. However, this proposal does help to stop future bleeding, while maintaining a secure retirement for current employees and retirees. Future employees will have options to determine a retirement plan which would meet their retirement security needs at 85-90 percent of benefits for current employees. 

“No proposal is perfect and Pennsylvania’s pension crisis is not going to magically disappear. I believe this legislation is necessary to ensure the long-term solvency of Pennsylvania’s system of retirement for public employees. The bill was drafted in a bipartisan manner with unions representing affected professionals at the table. This legislation is about compromising in good faith to serve the citizens of Pennsylvania as we head into the 2017-2018 budget cycle.  I believe the final votes—reflecting bipartisan support—will show wide-spread support and result in Governor Tom Wolf signing it into law. 

“As we continue the 2017-2018 budget, I believe this legislation sets the table for some of the areas I will continue to prioritize: investments in basic education, pre-k, early childhood education, mental health services and services for those at the margins. While I may not like everything about S.B. 1, it moves us closer to the type of budget we need in Pennsylvania: one that is more just and one that moves Pennsylvania forward.”