Pennsylvania’s House and Senate barely approved a new state budget –

Before the start of the new fiscal year July first.

But Governor Tom Corbett held off signing it –

In the vain hope of getting the General Assembly to tackle pension reform.

Fat chance.

The minute their respective gavels banged down –

Lawmakers hightailed it out of Harrisburg.

They’ll be back for a week or so in September –

Then disappear until January.

So – Thursday’s news conference was like firing a shot over an empty battlefield.

The governor announced he had signed the budget –

After slashing millions from legislative operations –

And scolded state lawmakers – including fellow Republicans –

For failing to address pension reform.

Corbett has cut state spending –

And backed a successful – bipartisan – effort to fund transportation.

But he hasn’t been able to get traction on pension reform –

Even with the GOP controlling the House and Senate.

The harsh reality is –

The pension plans for teachers and state employees are unsustainable in their current form.

There’s no easy fix –

But we don’t elect a governor and a General Assembly to only tackle simple problems.

So come January –

Pension reform had better be on everyone’s agenda.