Pa. lawmakers get warned on Scranton's pension debt

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 10, 2015 9:31 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's elected fiscal watchdog, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, says Scranton will go bankrupt in the next two to four years unless lawmakers come up with a statewide solution to the state's growing problem of municipal pension debt.

DePasquale, a Democrat, spoke during a state House Appropriations Committee hearing.

DePasquale has given recommendations to lawmakers about how to address municipal pension debt. However, leadership of the Republican-controlled Legislature hasn't made the issue a top priority.

Since taking office in 2013, DePasquale has warned lawmakers that municipal pension debt is putting municipalities and retiree benefits on shaky ground.

He says municipal governments with the weakest pension plans were underfunding them by $7.7 billion as of the end of 2012. Nearly 70 percent, or $5.3 billion, was attributed to Philadelphia.

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