Grove, Bloom: Wolf Administration Admits Defeat, Abruptly Reverses Unconstitutional PERC Power Grab
4/12/2016
HARRISBURG – State Reps. Seth Grove (R-York) and Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) today respond to the Wolf Administration’s abandonment of its misguided attempt to close the Pennsylvania Employee Retirement Commission (PERC). Yesterday, Wolf administration officials announced that it has rescinded its unconstitutional and illegal attempt to abolish the statutorily created PERC. PERC will now continue to perform its statutory functions, operating as an independent fiscal watchdog, providing independent actuarial analysis for pension legislation and monitoring the health of municipal pension plans pursuant to Act 205 of 1984.

Earlier this year, the Wolf administration announced its intention to reassign the statutory functions of PERC to another agency and cease PERC operations and employment in a Feb. 3 letter to PERC Chairman, John Durbin. The governor’s actions were an attempt to circumvent the legislative authority the General Assembly and close PERC via an unconstitutional executive action.

“Gov. Tom Wolf now knows that he is not above the law and cannot simply abolish a statutorily created independent watchdog agency according to his own wishes. His sudden recognition of our constitutionally enshrined separation of powers is surprising given his consistent and unilateral efforts to govern as the Commonwealth’s emperor, ruling by decree,” said Grove and Bloom.

Grove and Bloom previously had pursued legal action in Commonwealth Court to prevent the governor’s wishes to close PERC. With the restoration of PERC’s authority after the Wolf administration’s policy reversal, the legislators are withdrawing their lawsuit. Oral arguments had been scheduled for May.

Grove and Bloom issued the following statement regarding the governor’s announcement regarding PERC:

“This is another clear example of Gov. Wolf artificially creating unnecessary crises by attempting to circumvent the Legislature and unconstitutionally enforce his will. Let’s be clear, this entire situation started with the governor’s unprecedented and unilateral action. No amount of spin from his spokesman can change the fact that this issue was completely contrived by the governor’s ill-advised power grab. We are glad that our lawsuit protected legislative oversight and the people's constitutional voice. We stand prepared to continue to fight against executive overreach by the Wolf administration.”

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Media Contact: Eric Reath
717.260.6187
ereath@pahousegop.com

Representative Stephen Bloom
199th District
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam
717.260.6222
ahaslam@pahousegop.com
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