Governor Tom Corbett's top budget adviser says changes are needed in the major state pension funds even if his long-range proposals stall in the Legislature.
Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said Wednesday that $175-million in savings from a proposed short-term reduction in taxpayers' contributions is necessary to balance the state budget for the year starting July 1st.
Zogby says those savings also are crucial to limiting taxpayers' liability for the following two years. In February, Corbett proposed wide-ranging reforms that would cut future pension benefits for hundreds of thousands of state and school employees. But the administration has yet to line up sponsors for the bill.
Corbett's general counsel, James Schultz, also briefed reporters on legal issues in an expected court challenge if lawmakers approved the future-benefit cuts.
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