HARRISBURG, May 13th, 2015 − Senator Vincent Hughes released the following statement on the passage of Senate Bill 1:

“The Republican controlled Pennsylvania Senate today passed pension “reform” legislation that has historically been ruled illegal and unconstitutional by Pennsylvania courts for more than 30 years. The simple truth is that this bill is illegal and will be thrown out by the Courts if it becomes law.

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“The process has also been deplorable. Senate Bill 1 was introduced on Friday, May 8th at 4:30pm. The bill—which is more than 400 pages long and incredibly complex—has now been voted on final passage after just five days. The actuarial firm hired by the Senate to evaluate pension legislation acknowledged that they did not have time to even read the whole bill.

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“Finally, Senate Bill 1 punishes current state employees. It penalizes them by reducing benefits for both current and future employees. Under the Senate Republican plan, many future public sector employees will be left with a retirement benefit that places them below the federal poverty line. This is unacceptable.

“Senate Bill 1 should not have passed today. We need a real conversation about facing the Commonwealth’s budget challenges, not an unconstitutional bill rushed through the process.”

Senator Vincent Hughes represents the 7th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. He is also the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.