Mayor Pawlowski pushes pension reform

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is pushing for pension reform in Harrisburg.

Mayor Pawlowski joined several business and community leaders from across Pennsylvania at the state Capitol on Tuesday.

The group, called the Coalition for Sustainable Communities, wants to advance municipal pension reforms.

Members say their proposals will give communities the tools they need to rein in the spiraling costs of municipal pensions, while maintaining public safety by protecting fire and police jobs.

State Representative Seth Grove (R-York County) has introduced a bill that he says will create healthier pension plans and safeguard public employee jobs.

On Tuesday, Mayor Pawlowski praised the bill and Rep. Grove's efforts, and urged lawmakers to take action.

"Allentown thought outside the box to tackle its pension problem," he said. "Municipalities from east to west need the state legislature to comprehensively address this issue."

In 2013, Allentown struck a deal to lease its water and sewer systems for $220 million to combat rising pension costs.

Rep. Grove's bill is currently assigned to the house Local Government Committee.

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