Meuser warns of budget deficit, rising pension costs

Dan Meuser, Pennsylvania's secretary of revenue under Governor Tom Corbett, recently warned of the budget deficit facing the state, with pension costs expected to grow by more than $4 billion in the next two years.

Meuser called for support for a plan endorsed by Corbett that would have "no impact on current retirees or current state and school employees," requiring new employees to participate in a defined-contribution plan, the Times Leader reports.

A pension reform bill introduced by state Rep. Mike Tobash and supported by Corbett and state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi was re-referred to the Human Services Committee last week, thereby killing its chances of passage, according to the Delaware County Daily Times.

Meuser also lauded the Corbett administration for lowering taxes on small and startup businesses, closing tax loopholes and exempting family farms and businesses from certain state taxes.

"Governor Tom Corbett knows the answer to economic and quality of life improvements for Pennsylvania families is good, family-sustaining jobs and real wage increases," Meuser said, according to the Times Leader. "This is what makes a state a great place to live and raise a family. Personal income tax and sales tax revenue increases are a natural result of good job creation and make up 72 percent of our state's revenues. This is the answer to revenue growth: making Pennsylvania an economic leader among states and nations."