The Pennsylvania House has wrapped up its two-year legislative session.
The chamber passed a pension reform bill and a measure expanding the right to deadly self defense in its final votes.
165 lawmakers voted for the pension overhaul, despite concerns from top Republicans and Democrats the measure violates the state Constitution by addressing two issues at once because it included a provision for a fiscal oversight office.
Democrat Dwight Evans of Philadelphia, the House Appropriations Chairman, argued the pension bill was unconstitutional because of the fiscal office provision....
"Why take the chance, Mr. Speaker? Why take the chance and put it in the hands of the courts? In my view, just one person, why take that gamble?"
Some Republicans said they wanted to wait until next year to pass a broader reform, but Cumberland County representative Glenn Grell argued for immediate action.
"Every new legislator who joins us in December, and every new state employee who comes to join the Corbett Administration, will be grandfathered into the current expensive system, and we will be even further behind in bringing these pension funds to a more stable financial status."
The measure increases the retirement age and vesting period for future public employees. It also decreases retirement benefits, and increases the amount of money an employee pays into his or her pension fund.
Governor Rendell said will sign the pension overhaul legislation.
The House also overrode Rendell’s veto of an education bill. A Senate Republican spokesman says Senate leaders will “discuss the possibility” of coming back to vote on the measure.