House digs into Senate GOP bill to overhaul public pensions

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A key Pennsylvania state Republican House lawmaker is signaling support for key provisions in a Senate Republican plan to end the traditional pension benefit for school and state government employees.

The House State Government Committee held the first of two scheduled hearings on the bill Tuesday after the Senate fast-tracked the 410-page bill without a hearing.

State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe says he supports replacing the traditional pension benefit for future employees with a contribution to a 401(k)-style plan and requiring many current employees to pay more to keep their current benefit level.

Both are key elements of the Senate bill.

However, Democrats say requiring workers to pay more violates state constitutional protections against breach of contract. Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, opposes ending the traditional pension benefit.

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