GOP pensions bill advances; Democrats decry lack of hearings

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Republicans are advancing a legislation designed to overhaul benefits in Pennsylvania’s major public pension systems, over the protests of Democrats who say they’ve not had a chance to even read it.

The 410-page bill passed the Senate Finance Committee along partisan lines Monday. Senate Republicans aim to pass the three-day-old bill by the end of the week. But Democrats say there’s no information about the effect on taxpayers or state employees and teachers who would be affected.

Republicans want concessions from many current employees and the end of the debt-ridden traditional pension system that covers about 370,000 workers. Current retirees would be unaffected. Meanwhile, future employees would get a 401(k)-style plan and a cash balance plan.

Democrats say the GOP plan could increase pension debt and trigger lawsuits.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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