(KCPW News) Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz introduced a House Resolution today opposing a federal bailout for state pension funds. Chaffetz says among all the states, there are $3 trillion in unfunded pension obligations.
“And what this resolution simply says is it’s the sense of the House that these states should not be coming and running to the federal government to try to get a bailout,” he told KCPW.
In Utah, state lawmakers passed an overhaul of the pension system for public employees last year, reducing benefits for new employees hired starting in July of this year.
But Chaffetz notes that other states haven’t tackled their pension shortfalls.
“It’s almost as if we’re firing a shot across the bow of these states to say you’re going to be held accountable and responsible for this. Don’t think that big government in Washington, DC is just going to bail you out. Make the changes necessary, make the sacrifices necessary now to deal with this problem,” said Chaffetz.
Utah’s own pension reforms were controversial and opposed by many public employees, who argued they were unnecessary and would make it more difficult to recruit qualified workers. We’ll have a longer conversation with Congressman Chaffetz Friday morning on KCPW’s Politics Up Close, starting at 11 a.m.