Why We Can’t Get Pension Reform

Let’s be honest and expose the reason we cannot get Pension Reform. It is not Governor Corbett or Majority Leader Turzai. It is State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) who thwarted Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s call for pension reform today when his motion to recommit the bill to the Human Services Committee passed in the House 107-96. Fifteen Republicans joined with Democrats to pass DiGirolamo’s motion.

I was a school board member and President of one of the largest suburban school boards in PA. So it burns me up when one man’s selfish interests stands in the way of saving our teachers’ pensions and educating our children.

As the chair of the Human Services Committee, DiGirolamo has the power to move the bill in the future or keep it locked up in committee. His staunch support for labor unions – despite the "R" after his name – makes the latter more likely, as unions across the state have been lobbying hard to keep their generous pension plans.

In 2012, DiGirolamo received $162,457 for his reelection campaign. Of that total, labor unions contributed an astounding $83,200. DiGirolamo also runs Good Jobs PA Political Action Committee (PAC), which is funded almost, if not entirely, by labor unions. He then funnels that money to Republican colleagues and then marshals their support for a union agenda. On top of that, DiGirolamo was endorsed by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO at its annual convention in April, where he was the featured speaker. "What’s the rush?" DiGirolamo asked in his comments on the floor. He suggested reopening discussion on pension reform after the summer recess.

He may not be your Representative but he is affecting your future.

Why is he a committee chair? Why doesn’t he have a viable primary opponent every two years?

You deserve to know who and why!

This man is having a negative impact on your children’s education and the future of our teachers’ pensions. I support teachers and believe they should be treated fairly. However when we have a $50 billion unfunded liability teachers will eventually lose as will all Pennsylvanians. This man’s selfish interest needs to be dealt with if we are to have Responsible Government in PA, protect our teachers’ pensions, and have the money to educate our children.

Note: As previously noted CAP has serious concerns about the proposed "hybrid" pension plan. However, Rep. DiGirolamo has no interest in moving state employees to a defined contribution, 401(k) style plan or addressing the massive funding gap. Rather, he intends on stopping any reforms to the pension system.