The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 24, 2013

Corbett ties school funding to pension change

PHILADELPHIA — Gov. Tom Corbett said he hopes to maintain current funding levels next year for public schools and the four state-related universities, but warned that could change if he does not get the reforms he supports to public sector pension plans.

Corbett described his approach Wednesday in an interview with the editorial board of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The first-term Republican did not lay out all the details of his pension proposal, saying they would be part of his Feb. 5 budget address. But he did say his 2013-14 budget proposal would be “based on some assumptions,” and if structural pension changes do not pass, then “there’s going to have to be some adjustments to the budget.”

Corbett told the paper he and his budget secretary were considering revisions to the pension formulas that could significantly alter the retirement benefits of current state workers and school employees. Corbett said he did not envision reductions in retirees’ benefits, or to the pension benefits active employees have already accrued.

He said he was sticking to the no-tax pledge he made during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, but declined to say whether he would maintain that in seeking a second term next year.

A major transportation package that had been scheduled to be announced this week will instead be part of the budget address, Corbett said.

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