DiCiccio, former congressman, team up to tackle the gorilla

Pair calls for charter change to head off unfunded pension liability

Ahwatukee Foothills News

The gorilla that looms over the new year and beyond – Phoenix’s $3.4 billion unfunded pension liability – has prompted city Councilman Sal DiCiccio and an ex-congressman to push for a voter-driven charter change requiring better controls over spending.

Former Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz and DiCiccio call their citizen initiative “Responsible Budgets,” part of a nationwide effort to address “the out-of-control, unpaid pension liabilities that are destroying cities from coast to coast,” according to a release.

“Unfunded pensions are the single greatest crisis of our time. It consumes the back halls in our nation’s Capitol, and yet virtually nobody is doing anything about it,” Chaffetz said, noting the problem affects all levels of government. “None of us have the means to pay for the promises we made.”

The Responsible Budgets Initiative calls for a three-part plan to force elected officials to make what Chaffetz and DiCiccio say are “hard choices necessary to avoid a financial collapse.”

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