Governor Right to Blame Gov. Union Leaders on Pension Reform

Commonwealth Foundation
Contact: 717-671-1901

Lawmakers Must Battle Government Union Leaders on Pension Reform

Government union leaders cited as primary opposition to tax-saving legislation

Good morning,

Gov. Corbett’s decision today to line-item veto funding for the state Legislature highlights the fact that every effort to address the $50 billion-and-growing pension has been stopped in its tracks by special interests.

“Today, the governor identified the special interests that oppose any kind of fiscally responsible pension reform: government union leaders,” commented Nathan Benefield, vice president of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation. “That Gov. Corbett feels a line-item veto is needed to force action on this issue illustrates the immense power these government union executives wield in Harrisburg.”

Benefield continued:

“As pension payments begin to displace spending on other government services and spur property tax hikes or teacher layoffs around the state, taxpayers will be asking who is to blame.  Without pension reform, taxpayers could see nearly $1,000 in additional taxes per household, or nearly one of every three teachers would have to be laid off just to make additional payments on pension debt.

“The governor has made it clear that pension reform must be a priority and those standing in the way will no longer be able to hide in the shadows.”

For more information on Pennsylvania’s pension crisis, see Commonwealth Foundation’s infographic, “Triple Threat Pension Debt.”

Nathan Benefield is available for comment on the consequences of inaction on public pension reform. Please use the below contact information to schedule an interview.


Cindy Hamill
Dir. of Strategic Communications
Commonwealth Foundation
Harrisburg | King of Prussia
Office: 717-671-1901
[email protected]