UPDATE: Governor Wolf vetoed the pension reform proposal passed by the General Assembly. When it came to employees of the Wolf group (and its bottom line) a 401k was fine. However, with taxpayers picking up the tab, the Governor insists on being much more generous and continuing an outdated and underfunded pension program.
Late last week Governor Wolf vetoed the legislation passed by the House and Senate to start privatizing Pennsylvania’s retail and wholesale liquor sales. The plan the General Assembly sent the Governor was far from perfect, but it was a step in the right direction. The Governor’s veto was widely panned by news outlets ranging from the Washington Post:
"If Governor Wolf believes the explanation he offered for vetoing the liquor store privatization law, he does not understand basic economics and is immune to empirical evidence."
"In other words, private merchants will jack up prices because they want to make money-unlike the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), which seeks only to raise revenue. If you think those two motives sound pretty similar, you are smarter than Pennsylvania’s governor, who fails to recognize that the relevant difference between these two models for distributing booze, when it comes to how high prices can be raised, is the presence or absence of competition."
Make no mistake the Governor’s veto had nothing to do with public safety or concerns about price increases. Rather, Wolf’s veto was out of loyalty to organized labor.
On a related note, the Governor has not yet acted on the pension reform legislation to move new state employees into a 401k style program. Considering that the Tom Wolf’s former employees participated in a 401k and not a pension like state employees, it will be interesting to see what excuses he might offer if he vetoes the common sense pension reforms Pennsylvania’s taxpayers desperately need.
The Governor has until Friday at midnight to veto the pension reform plan. If he doesn’t act by then, the legislation will become law without his signature.