Representative Stephen Bloom
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam
RepBloom.com / Facebook.com/RepBloom / Twitter.com/RepBloom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2016
Bloom Bill to Reverse Wolf’s Move to Block Pension Reform
HARRISBURG – Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) today introduced legislation to reverse a partial veto by Gov. Tom Wolf, which effectively prevents new pension reform legislation from being considered by the General Assembly.
"When he recently signed the vast majority of the 2015-16 state budget into law, Gov. Wolf eliminated state funding designated for the operation of the Public Employee Retirement Commission (PERC)," Bloom explained. "Through this targeted veto, the governor essentially blocked debate and enactment of urgently needed public pension reform measures."
Under current law, pension legislation cannot be lawfully considered by the Legislature unless accompanied by a comprehensive actuarial analysis completed by PERC, known as a PERC note.
"Without funding, PERC will likely be hindered or precluded from timely performing its statutorily required evaluations," Bloom said. "PERC’s role as an independent assessor of pension legislation is a crucial and deliberate check-and-balance in the legislative process."
Bloom’s proposal, House Bill 1793, would fund PERC at the level set forth in the general appropriations budget (House Bill 1460) passed by the General Assembly, most of which was signed into law by Wolf as Act 10A of 2015, subject to line-item vetoes which blocked certain funding.
"Given the worsening public pension crisis facing our Commonwealth, we must take immediate action to reverse the governor’s disruptive unilateral defunding of PERC," Bloom said. "With unfunded liabilities in our public pension system in excess of $53 billion, we can’t afford executive barriers designed to impede constructive pension reform discussions in the Legislature."
# # #