Equally critical in the overall resolution of budget issues is Pennsylvania’s ever growing pension debt. The Commonwealth’s total unfunded pension liability has ballooned to more than $69 billion.  As expected, the rate of increase in our pension liability has been staggering recently. In just the past three years, our pension liability has risen by $24 billion – a nearly 35 percent growth in debt. And if no corrective action by the Governor and legislature on the pension crisis, estimates of unfunded liability will grow to at least $80 billion by 2019. Further delay by the Governor and General Assembly to immediately come to grips with this challenge and effectively deal with it will cause further drain of taxpayer revenues away from needed state programs, in order to pay for the ballooning pension debt.