Daily Archives: February 8, 2013

Schools, cities and counties struggle under increasing PERS costs

The cost of Oregon’s public employee retirement system (PERS) is rising again.  The increase primarily results from legislative decisions granting extravagant retirement benefits for many employees hired before Jan. 1, 1996 (Tier 1). For the current 2011-13 biennium, PERS employer costs increased by $1.1 billion, and PERS employers are facing an additional $900 million increase [...]

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Legislators gear up for a new session

This first week is always busy meeting the newly elected Representatives, reacquainting with the returning legislators and stepping back into the routine of 15 minute appointments, committee meetings and long days. This session I will serve on two committees:  Co Vice Chair of Agriculture and Natural Resources and as a member of the Veterans and [...]

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Legislative session is a puzzle to be pieced together

Every legislative session is a puzzle, and as challenging as our recent sessions have been, the puzzle this time around is more complex than any other I’ve encountered in eight years of doing this work. There is a combination of policies, timing, needs, resources and politics that does not lend itself to straightforward solutions.  In [...]

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Oregon’s healthcare reform is an accomplishment

When it comes to healthcare reform Oregon is at the tip of the spear. The newly passed Coordinated Care Organizations are off and running; they are locally accountable, integrated across the health spectrum and focused on primary and preventative care. Already, they are lowering costs and improving patient health. Going forward, Oregon’s health insurance exchange [...]

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House Republicans Focused on Budget, Education, PERS Reform

The challenging work of balancing the next budget has started.  Southern Oregon is fortunate to have a strong delegation on the budget-writing Joint Ways and Means Committee.  House Republicans in particular will be led by Committee Vice-Chair Dennis Richardson of Central Point, who was instrumental last term in funding state government without raising taxes.  He [...]

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