Legislation enacting a major overhaul of the state's badly underfunded public safety worker pension plan was unanimously approved Wednesday by a Senate committee and will likely come to a vote Thursday by the full Senate.
The overhaul is backed by firefighter and police unions as well as cities, towns and other public agencies that pay into the system. They worked with Sen. Debbie Lesko for the past year to come up with a plan to fix the trouble system.
The issue is pressing because public agencies have seen contribution rates to the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System soar to make up for the underfunding.
A prominent taxpayer association and the Goldwater Institute opposed the deal during testimony Wednesday, saying it doesn't provide enough savings, The groups also questioned the math behind its savings projection.
"The concern is that for the majority of employers we do not reduce the costs," said Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association.
Lesko said she also wanted more from the plan but added, "The thing is when you live in reality you have to negotiate. You don't get everything you want."