Democrats Try To Slow Fast-Tracked Pension Reform Bill

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (News Radio 1020 KDKA) – The latest version of a public pension reform bill passed the state Senate Monday, and is expected to get a vote in the House later this week.

But Democrats in the state House are trying to slow the train down.

In an effort to rein in spiraling pension liability for teachers and state workers, the state Senate Monday passed a bill – backed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf – that’s intended to shift new hires fully or partially toward 401(k) defined contribution plans.

Just hours later, the bill was put before the House State Government Committee, where Matt Bradford of Montgomery County, the ranking Democrat on the panel, and other Democrats tried unsuccessfully to slow the bill down, asking that the committee vote be delayed 24 hours.

“Many of us are deeply concerned about the lack of transparency and thoughtfulness about a bill with such far reach,” said Bradford.

Majority Republicans countered that the legislature has been grappling with pension reform for years, and accused Democrats of stalling.

A full House vote is anticipated on Thursday.

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