HARRISBURG – Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks), Chairman of the Senate Majority Policy Committee, released the following statement regarding the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1:
“I’m extremely disappointed with the governor’s veto of public pension reform legislation that would save taxpayers more than $10 billion by addressing the number one cost-driver for school property taxes. Senate Bill 1 would protect the pension program for current employees and retirees while addressing future projected costs by enrolling all state legislators and all new state and school district employees into a 401-K style plan.
“Governor Wolf is asking taxpayers for $12.7 billion in new taxes disguised as property tax ‘relief’ while opposing a major overhaul to the state’s pension systems. That $12.7 billion tax increase is, by far, the largest tax increase suggested by any governor across all fifty states.
“It’s clear to me that the governor’s campaign slogan ‘Government that Works’ means that any commonsense approach to the state’s budget that is supported by the taxpayer, but opposed by the public union leaders, is rejected by this governor. How is the state government supposed to work when he continues to veto important legislation, strongly supported by the public, at the request of his public employee union leader friends?
“Last week, he vetoed a long-requested bill to privatize our state liquor stores and an on-time, no-new-taxes balanced state budget which increased aid to our public schools. Today he vetoed the most important pension reform bill passed by the General Assembly in decades. How is that supporting ‘Government that Works?’
“Like our counterparts in the private sector, our state government needs to make adjustments in our pension systems. If we do not adjust, we can look to Detroit’s bankruptcy to see what happens when you constantly maintain the status quo. We should learn from their example: That’s bad news for both public employees and the taxpayer.”