Thank you, state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, for not blindly following your Republican leadership.

Yes, Pennsylvania has a looming public pension crisis; the trouble has been brewing for years, in fact.

But the situation is no more dire today than a few months ago, even though Gov. Tom Corbett is refusing to sign a state budget unless he gets pension reform.

We are not arguing against a plan; the current, defined benefits system for government employees and teachers appears to be unsustainable.

A fix is needed — but not a quick fix, which might not solve the problem and could, in fact, make it worse.

The issue is too complex to shove something under the noses of lawmakers and ask them to sign off on it without even understanding it.

"What's the rush? Why are we doing this now?" DiGirolamo asked Tuesday. "I think there are too many unanswered questions."

The Bucks County lawmaker made a motion to return a pension overhaul bill to the Human Services Committee he chairs, according to The Associated Press.

The 107-96 vote to do so blocked the rubber stamp GOP leaders apparently were hoping for. DiGirolamo and 14 other Republicans joined all 92 Democrats in sending the bill back to committee.

Lawmakers are elected to look out for the interests of their constituents. Their allegiance isn't — or shouldn't be — to party honchos like House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, who pleaded this week for a full vote on the legislation.


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Why the urgency now? House leaders should have made this a priority long before this 11th hour.

All lawmakers should have a say in the debate and understand what's on the table before they vote. And the unions representing the hundreds of thousands of state and school employees should be involved as well, DiGirolamo added.

DiGirolamo suggested pension reform legislation could be fully vetted and introduced by fall.

Sounds reasonable to us.