Health - May 8, 2015

Pension Reform Moving

The big news around the Capitol this week is that pension reform is on the move. SB 1 is expected to be introduced any day now and the cosponsor memo was circulated earlier this week. Sen. Corman and Sen. Browne, along with Senators Scarnati, Gordner and Eichelberger sent out the memo on May 6. The memo stated that the legislation is “designed to modernize the Commonwealth’s retirement systems in order to bring significant updates to the funding, sustainability and fiscal responsibility of the two main pension funds.” The legislature has been debating pension reform for the last several years but now we’re seeing real movement. If the bill is introduced today it could run through the Senate and pass as early as next week.  Sen. Corman has said he feels confident that “his 30-seat Senate majority will be able to pass the bill next week.”  House Majority Leader Dave Reed has said they’ll see what comes out of the Senate and consider it. Some key provisions of the bill will include enrolling all new state and public school employees in a mandatory Defined Contribution plan, current employees will see increased contributions for all future earnings, those choosing not to increase their contribution will see rollbacks to pre-Act 9 levels (anyone on the job in 2001).


Corman-Wolf clash over executive nominations

Yesterday Governor Wolf issued a press release saying he sent 17 executive nominations to the Pennsylvania State Senate for consideration. It went on to say that 12 of those 17 are being submitted and that the Governor had several conversations with Senator Corman and they agreed that 13 of the Senate’s recommendations would move forward and then Wolf would submit 12 nominations of his own choosing. Today Corman refuted Wolf’s claims, saying Wolf’s version was a “complete mischaracterization” of events. Wolf’s camp is claiming there was an agreement and Corman’s is saying it was not “an agreed to process.” Wolf’s spokesman Jeff Sheridan said he’s unsure of what the next steps will be since Wolf’s office thought this agreement was already in place.