The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 13, 2012

Pension blame

Daily Item

---- — Sunday's My Turn column in The Daily Item by Dawn Rohland regarding the state pension plan was a well written, timely discourse on the matter. Being a fellow state employee I have a vested interest (pardon the pun) in whatever the governor and his minions decide is the solution to fund the increased pension payouts. So far, the governor seems to have only the solution mentioned in the column: get rid of state workers.

An out-of-state or foreign company would take over the Pennsylvania Lottery not only taking great sums of money from the state's take of the lottery proceeds but costing more than a thousand jobs.

In addition, the governor wants to sell off the liquor store system which would cut another 4,000 jobs. I am an employee of this system and can tell you that of that group many of us are in our 50s and are very low on the reemployment food chain, so Mr. Corbett ought to explain how this would help anybody. This system costs the state nothing and only returns $500 million a year to the general fund.

Finally, let us keep this in mind when thinking about the pension system: the legislature voted for the present setup and payout schedules and rates. They also enacted a law that gives them a 3.25 percent increase in salary yearly. How many of us receive that kind of increase? We, in the state store system, received our first raise in two years and it was 1 percent. Many in the legislature will tell you they don't accept this increase but, guess what, that is extremely disingenuous -- their pension is figured on the salary so moving the money around is all that is accomplished.

Who is really costing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania more, the employees or our elected officials? Thank you Dawn Rohland for providing information that the governor, legislature and the media should have supplied.

Harry Prentiss,