"Selling liquor is not a core function of government. Education is,'' Corbett said. "That is why I have proposed that as we phase the commonwealth out of the liquor business we put that money toward education.''
"This is our opportunity,'' Corbett said, "and our children's.''
"The entire system of state pensions has become a mountain of debt and the avalanche could bury our economic growth, swallow up benefits for our elderly, education for our children and transportation for our economy,'' Corbett said.
"We cannot let that happen. We cannot allow hard-working teachers and state employees to be threatened by the loss of their pensions. Nor can we allow the burden of saving those pensions to snowball into a nightmare of economic hardship for our children. Resolving our pension crisis will be the single most important thing we do for decades to come.''
"I will not allow any cuts to any benefits of our retirees,'' Corbett emphasized. "They earned their retirement. They earned their guaranteed security.''
"Nor will I allow any pension benefits already earned by any current employee to be diminished in any way.''
The governor's budget proposes:
- Creating a new 401 (k) style retirement benefit plan for future employees, consistent with the retirement packages currently enjoyed by private sector employees.
- Adjusting the method of calculating future benefits for current employees in order to maintain the solvency of our pension system and guarantee all current and future employees a worry-free retirement.
- No changes to current retirees.
- Providing nearly $140 million in pension savings for school districts and other local education agencies across the state.
"With some imagination and some cooperation, we can find a way to preserve our existing pensions and allow the next generation of state employees and teachers a chance to shape their futures.''