Government
9:13 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Transportation Funding, Pension Reform Top Senate GOP Agenda

State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester) said top billing for the legislative agenda next year goes to a transportation funding package.

"That infrastructure is critical," Pileggi said.  "We need to invest in it.  I think that'’s our number one job-creating, legislative agenda item for the coming session."

Republicans are working with a slimmer majority this year, 27-23,  after losing three seats in the November election.  But, Pileggi said getting votes shouldn'’t be a problem and even if it were, transportation funding is likely to be a bipartisan issue.

"I'’ve always prided myself on the ability to attract votes from the other side of the aisle to legislation that we pass in the Senate," Pileggi said.  "We'’re not always able to do that but more often than not we are and usually that improves the quality of the legislation."

House and Senate lawmakers from both parties introduced transportation funding measures during the last legislative session but none advanced.

Another priority issue for Senate Republicans is the pension crisis.  Pileggi said a pension reform package will be prepared within the first six months of 2013.

"[The package will] address the fact that our pension system is different in kind than the vast majority of private sector employee pensions and try to bring the government pension system in line with the private sector."

Governor Tom Corbett has said that pension reform is at the top of his agenda for 2013 but has not advanced any proposals.