Welch: Fully Fund the Pension Fund(Bristol) Jason Welch, the Republican nominee for the State Senate from the 31st district, today called upon the General Assembly to fully fund the State’s pension obligations and to stop deferring payments to future years.
“The General Assembly, including my opponent Senator Tom Colapietro, over the years has voted to approve state employee contracts with employee pension obligations, but deferred making required state contributions into that pension fund.” Welch added, “This has created a massive amount of debt and unfunded obligations, which ultimately puts those pensions at risk and wrongly burdens future generations. With more than $60 billion in current unfunded obligations, each Connecticut resident’s share is about $17,500.”
Welch stated that all pension funds are under-funded and that the time has come for the members of the General Assembly to meet the state’s current obligations and stop deferring the payments. “They need to stop funding their pet projects and fund the promises that they have made to our state employees and retirees,” Welch said.
“As a member of the State Senate, I will not vote for any budget that grossly underfunds current pension obligations.” Welch added, “Our children and our grandchildren should not have the added burden of paying for the promises that we made today, and our state employees and retirees deserve to know that their pensions are intact. Though the benefit structure for new employees ought to be reformed and brought more in line with private sector benefits, which is a part of my plan to control state spending, we need to keep the promises we have made to date.”
Welch’s Democratic opponent, 18 year incumbent Senator Tom Colapietro, is well known for his contention that Republicans are going to gut state government. The reality is that Senator Colapietro has been gutting union pensions to the tune of 100s of millions of dollars (200 million last year alone). Welch has called for a 7-10% across the board reduction of state costs, starting at the top and excluding understaffed and public safety agencies such as Corrections, in addition to other cost savings. That is hardly gutting.
Welch pointed out the irony that Senator Colapietro prides himself on representing the working person, yet he has routinely underfunded the working person’s pension rather than trim the fat in upper-management at state agencies.
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