Feb. 21, 2019

HARRISBURG – The state House today approved legislation introduced by Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks/Lancaster) that would save taxpayers money by prohibiting future employees of a multi-state commission from participating in the state’s public pension system.

“This is about saving taxpayer money, but it’s also about a basic issue of fairness,” Cox said. “Pennsylvania taxpayers shouldn’t have to solely pay for the retirement benefits of future workers for a commission that serves three states.”

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) was created through a federal law enacted in 1970 that also was adopted by the Legislatures of Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. The tri-state commission manages the resources of the Susquehanna River basin.

Employees of the SRBC currently participate in the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), a public pension plan funded in part with taxpayer dollars. According to the Independent Fiscal Office – a non-partisan entity created to provide unbiased information to the state Legislature – there were 65 employees of the SRBC who were active, contributing members of SERS in 2017.

Cox’s bill would prevent future SRBC hires from participating in the Pennsylvania public pension system. His bill would not affect current workers or retirees. Existing laws, previous court cases and the state Constitution prevent the state from removing current participants from the state pension system.

“If someone argues this wouldn’t save a lot of money, so it’s not worth pursuing, I would say they’re missing the point,” Cox said. “These are taxpayers’ dollars and we should try to save every one we can.”

Cox’s House Bill 60 now heads to the state Senate for consideration.

More information about Cox is available on his website at RepJimCox.com or by following him on Facebook at Facebook/RepJimCox.

Representative Jim Cox
129th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Daniel Massing
RepJimCox.com / Facebook.com/RepJimCox