PA Senate Majority Leader: Late Pension Bill, Late Budget

Mar 24, 2015

A top Republican in the state Senate said Monday that he's prepared for a late budget.

The commonwealth's spending plan is due June 30, and in recent years the GOP caucuses followed the lead of former Gov. Tom Corbett and his priority to meet that deadline.

This year, Senate Republicans have insisted their top priority is passing a public pension overhaul that reaps short-term and long-term savings for the state's deeply indebted retirement systems.

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said if pension talks stretch into the fall, so will the budget process.

"Pensions is the budget," said Corman. "It's the budget for school districts, it's the budget for the state — it's the budget."

Corman said a Senate GOP pension proposal could be introduced next month that would switch future state hires to a 401(k)-style retirement benefit.

"We're not doing a budget without it," said Corman. "We can't."

Gov. Tom Wolf does not support changes to state pensions. The Republican-controlled Legislature could not pass a pension overhaul during Corbett's four- year term.