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
This hour of Smart Talk we talk about possible changes to pensions for state and school employees. Leading the discussion is guest host Dennis Owens for the vacationing Scott Lamar. Dennis is joining us for the show from abc27 where he anchors News at 6:00 pm along with Alicia Richards and News at 7:00 pm with Valerie Pritchett.
The state budget still awaits the governor's signature. The budget has been approved by the House and Senate. According to WITF's Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson, the legislature's budget does make the full scheduled payments toward the pension debt, but those payments are already lower than actuaries suggest. Debate on the House floor was suspended last week with discussion tabled to committee. The proposal would replace the current traditional pensions with a hybrid system for newly hired state and school employees. It would combine a scaled-down pension with a 401(k)-style plan in which employees make their own investment decisions.
State Representative Glen Grell, Eric Epstein coordinator for Rock the Capitol, and Bill Dando the assistant legislative director for AFSME
Mr. Owens will be discussing this issue with State Representative Glen Grell. He was first elected in 2004 to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 87th District in Cumberland County. He is currently serving his fifth, two-year term in the state House. Also in studio, Rock the Capitol coordinator Eric Epstein, a community advocate for good government for over 25 years and Bill Dando, the assistant legislative director for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 13.
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