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posted: 5/31/2013 8:08 AM

Editorial: We cannot accept failure on pension reform

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

When the 98th General Assembly opened in January, one overriding message echoed. Failure to achieve pension reform would be tantamount to failure, period. Thursday night, state senators -- among them numerous suburban Democrats and even at least one suburban Republican -- indicated that might just be OK. They rejected the only effective pension reform plan under consideration by such a large margin it is hard to imagine a meaningful reversal is possible. But as an aide to Democratic state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, primary author of the rejected plan, wrote in an email after the vote, "24-plus hours to the end is an eternity around here." So, there may yet be time or tricks to salvage something from this wreckage. But the facts are clear. The rejected plan can turn the budget around and stabilize the pension system. The union-backed plan Senate Democrats favor cannot. Bond houses are watching. The state's economic future is on the line. It is, as Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno said, "show time." Use it wisely today, senators. We cannot accept failure.

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