Budget Secretary speaks about pension reform

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With the state budget due in less than two weeks – one of the big issues on the table is pension reform.  Today, the Senate Finance Committee voted to shift most future state and public school employees into at 401-k style retirement plan in 2015. It would keep the traditional plan pension plan for state police and corrections officers. And it would switch over current lawmakers, judges, and executive branch officials if re-elected to the 401-K plan.

Kathy Jellison president of the Service Employees International Union says the plan is irresponsible. She’s concerned about enticing people to work in the private sector without the promise of a pension.

“At the end you have a decent not an extravagant, the average is 24,000 dollars or less pension at the end compensates that state employees make less then the private sector,” says Jellison

Fox43 sat down with Budget Secretary Charles Zogby who says this plan is a step in the right direction.

“ We will be providing a very good retirement benefit we will be running a 60 million dollar enterprise in state government that he have to run. It`s important we attract new talent in the state government with the plan we offer it ranks up there with private sector employment plans,” says Zogby

Pension reform just one of many issues including transportation, and liquor privatization that need to be dealt with by the state`s June 30  deadline  which would be the Governor’s third budget.

“ The Governor is focused on doing the business that the people sent him here to do. He`s keeping the promises he made,” says Zogby

This is the first hurdle that the 401-k based plan had to go through. It now has to get through the Senate Appropriations Committee before it gets to the Senate floor.