Each year, according to a recent PA House of Representatives appropriations budget briefing, $65-plus million is funneled back into our local economy by disbursements to retired Pennsylvania state employees.
This is money that, to a large part, state employees have earned and then sent directly back to the state for safekeeping. Is it the state employees' fault the state legislators have not done a responsible job in making sure the fund is secure? Are we to suffer because shortsighted legislators in past years have failed in doing one of their only jobs in making sure the state pays its bills, instead of just postponing the payment of its bills to the next state budget? (Sounds very much like Washington, does it not ?)
State employees are your neighbors, family members and customers. We tend to retire where we have lived and worked and will continue to support the economy of the Central Susquehanna Valley with our retirement monies. However, unless, our current legislators take steps to correct what has largely been the mistakes or even failure of their predecessors, not only the lives of our retirees, but our local economy will suffer.
As Mr. Finnerty's article states, there are current funding streams to create a solution to this issue and for the state to pay its bills. Now it remains in the governor's hands to see if he will pay the bill, or simply pass on the problem.
Eric D. Ulsh,