Business group praises state Senate for passing pension-reform bill

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) praised the Pennsylvania General Assembly last week for passing Senate Bill 1 to reform the state's pension system.

"Pennsylvania's public-pension deficit is the single-greatest financial threat facing the commonwealth, school districts and ultimately taxpayers, including small-business owners," NFIB/Pennsylvania Legislative Director Neal Lesher said in a statement.

"The pension plan the Legislature passed moves all future employees into a defined-contribution-style plan," Lesher said. "That's key, and it reflects what already occurred in the private sector decades ago."

"It's easy to come to Harrisburg and simply seek to raise taxes and maintain the status quo," Lesher said.  "True leadership requires rolling up the sleeves and enacting fundamental reforms to the way government operates.

"While SB 1 does not contain all of the reforms that some of us would have liked to see, it still represents a significant step forward to bring government in line with the 21st century," Lesher said.

"After years of debate and countless hours of work for the Legislature to get to this point, it would be a shame for the governor to simply say no and veto this historic reform," Lesher said. "I hope he will consider this legislation fairly and come down on the side of the taxpayer."

NFIB is Pennsylvania’s largest small-business group, with 15,000 members statewide.