Yesterday, a group of five senior, bipartisan U.S. Senators, led by Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Roberts (R-KS), introduced a bill that would directly help local councils and troops. This larger bill contains mirror language to a House of Representatives bill introduced in May by Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Ron Kind (D-WI). Starting in January, many Girl Scout councils across the country are facing a spike of 40% in their pension expenses. This obligation is diverting funds away from our core mission. Without prompt Congressional action, approximately 113,000 girls across the country would lose the benefits of Girl Scouting. The legislation would allow councils to continue to meet their pension responsibilities with no changes to beneficiaries, but it would smooth out the contributions by councils similar to rates used by corporate plans. Currently, Girl Scouts has tougher funding rules than for-profit plans. If you want to take action and voice your support of legislation that will help Girl Scouts avoid drastic measures such as staff lay-offs, cutting programs, and serving fewer girls (including at-risk girls), you can do so via the Girl Scout Advocacy Network web site.