The Legislature faces three fiscal problems: fully funding education, repairing the infrastructure and correcting the unfunded obligations of the public employees’ pension fund.
Of these three, the Republican majority seems interested in addressing one. In a radical and unjustified decision, a committee proposed removing state Treasurer Curtis Loftis as custodian of the state’s retirement funds and as a member of the Investment Commission. As a constitutional officer elected by the people of South Carolina, the treasurer has informed the Legislature and the people of the impending crisis and discussed with constituents the dire pressure the $25 billion pension shortfall places upon the entire budget and the future of the state.
The General Assembly should fully engage with Treasurer Loftis, trust his judgment and follow his advice. If the pension fund problem is not faced wisely, we will not see a fully funded public education system, and businesses and tourists will avoid our crumbling highways.
Jay C. Byars