Contact Information 

Meadville District Office
900-920 Water Street
Downtown Mall
Meadville, PA  16335
Phone (814) 336-1136
Hours 8 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. (M-F)

Fairview Office (Mondays Only)
Fairview Township Building
7471 McCray Rd., Fairview, PA
Hours 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Monday)
1-800-770-2377

Cranesville Office (Thursdays Only)
Cranesville Borough Office
10195 John Williams Ave.
Cranesville, PA 16410
Phone: 1-800-770-2377
Hours 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Thursday)

Capitol Office
Hon. Brad Roae
151 East Wing
Harrisburg PA 17120-2006
Phone: (717) 787-2353
Fax: 717-782-2902

E-mail:
  broae@pahousegop.com

Q & A - House Has Full Agenda for Fall
10/3/2013
QUESTION:  Can you tell me about some of the issues the state House is expected to consider this fall?

ANSWER:  The state House could potentially pass legislation dealing with several very important issues this fall, including public pension modernization, transportation funding reform and possibly even liquor store privatization.

Beginning with the last issue – liquor store privatization – the state House passed a bill in the spring that would move the Commonwealth toward privatizing the state-owned liquor stores.  While the Senate has ot passed that bill yet, it may do so this fall.  If the Senate changes the bill before passing it, the legislation would head back to the House for consideration.  That would mean another House vote on this issue.  However, this time we would have to vote on whether to accept the Senate’s version or amend it again and send the legislation back over to the Senate.

The second big issue that could be considered is public pension reform.  The state has two public pension systems – one for teachers and other educational administrators (the Pennsylvania School Employee’s Retirement System, or PSERS) and another for state workers and legislators (the State Employee’s Retirement System, or SERS).  Together, PSERS and SERS have an unfunded liability of more than $40 billion.  That means that the retirement benefits that have been promised would cost $40 billion more than the funds could currently afford to provide.

If nothing is done to address the public pension problem, the Commonwealth’s contributions to the two retirement plans could spike in the next several years, which would take money away from other programs and services, such as schools and job growth initiatives.  At the same time, the spike in local school districts’ and municipalities’ pension costs could lead to significant property tax increases on homeowners.

Several different proposals have been put forward that would modernize the two pension systems.  While most private-sector employers have switched to defined contribution retirement plans – where workers and employers both contribute to a personal retirement account the employee can control – the Commonwealth’s two public pension systems are still defined benefit plans – where workers and employers both contribute, the employee is guaranteed a certain benefit and if the funds aren’t enough to cover that benefit, the employer has to make up the difference.  Most of the reform proposals call for some form of pension modernization to bring public sector retirement plans in line with what is available in the private sector.

The other issue the House may consider is a way to fix the Commonwealth’s aging roads and bridges.  Some legislators have called for massive tax increases to pay for this.  I believe we should fist look to the money the Commonwealth already collects from taxpayers and try to identify existing revenues that could be redirected toward transportation projects.

These are just a few of the many issues the House may consider as we move forward with the fall session.


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