Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment. Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.
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Host: Scott LaMar
Radio Smart Talk for Friday, April 26:
Distressed municipalities in PA
It's estimated that pension plans for Pennsylvania state workers and school employees are underfunded by about $41 billion. Those pensions have garnered much attention from Gov. Tom Corbett and state lawmakers the last few months.
What hasn't gotten as much notice is the underfunded pension plans for retired municipal workers in Pennsylvania. They total about $6.6 billion.
Pennsylvania has almost 2,600 municipalities and more than 3,200 local government pension plans -- about a quarter of all such plans in the nation.
The Pennsylvania Economy League reports 41% of all the state's population live in municipalities that are financially distressed.
As a result, the pension crisis is just one of several challenges municipalities are facing. Cities, boroughs, and townships say they are all dealing with issues such as arbitration awards and unfunded mandates as well.
On Friday's Radio Smart Talk, we'll hear from Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray, Chambersburg Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill, and Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Ellen Horan. They're all part of the organization Coalition for Sustainable Communities.
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