Tom Corbett

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett speaks to a group of the employees during a visit to 4moms, a manufacturer of baby products, on Friday, July 11, 2014, in Pittsburgh. Corbett later answered questions about the state budget and pension reform during a news conference. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

GLENSHAW, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett is plunging into a public fight for legislation that pares back public employee retirement benefits to curb rising pension costs.

His re-election campaign issued robocalls over the weekend, while Corbett told a small crowd Monday near his suburban Pittsburgh home that pension reform isn’t an easy issue, but “we have to get this under control.”

In the robocall, the Republican governor criticizes the Republican-controlled Legislature for sending him a budget “loaded with perks and earmarks,” and then warns of property tax increases without passage of pension legislation.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are criticizing Corbett for blocking money for part of the Legislature’s operating budget.

It’s not unusual for governors and lawmakers to gripe about each other, but the intra-GOP battle is erupting just four months before the election.

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