November 8, 2010

PSEA supports House lawmakers' willingness to return to Harrisburg

The leaders of the state House of Representatives should pay attention to legislators who want to return to session this week to pass pension reform and other important legislation, the president of the state’s largest school employee union said today.

PSEA President Jim Testerman, said the General Assembly has a real opportunity to solve the pension crisis and save billions for taxpayers.

“By returning to Harrisburg and approving House Bill 2497, the pension reform bill, and sending it to the governor, our legislators can solve one of the most difficult issues confronting the Commonwealth, and save the taxpayers billions,” said Testerman.

“If the House does not address this issue before the legislative session ends this month, school districts will be staring at double-digit increases in their pension contributions and facing pressure to increase property taxes,” Testerman added.

The current legislative session expires Nov. 30. The House leadership recently announced that the session voting days that had been scheduled for Nov. 8, 9, 10, 15 and 16 were canceled. A number of rank and file lawmakers in both parties have expressed their disappointment in the leadership’s decision.

The state Senate passed an amended version of H.B. 2497, which originally passed the House in June with bipartisan support. If the House will return to session and pass the bill, the measure would resolve the pension crisis and save taxpayers $3 billion.

“By acting now, the House can show that one of the most difficult financial issues facing the state can be solved responsibly for the good of taxpayers, employers, and employees,” Testerman said.

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