Tag Archives: PERS

Democratic leaders made progress on PERS

Wow. I’m not sure who wrote the Mail Tribune editorial on Thursday, taking a shot at Speaker Tina Kotek and blaming her for the lack of progress on a deal for revenue and additional PERS reform, but they couldn’t have been farther off the mark. I’m a senior member of House leadership, having served in [...]

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The economy is picking up

Oregon’s May revenue forecast was released Thursday and showed an increase of $271 million over previous estimates. Along with $1.5 billion in increased tax collections we already knew about, plus $260 million set aside in the current budget, Oregon will have over $2 billion more for this budget. As a member of the budget-writing Ways [...]

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Legislators must tackle tough problems

Oregonians want good jobs, safe communities, great schools, and effective state services. On Wednesday, the Oregon House moved us toward that end by unanimously supporting a Republican plan to eliminate offshore tax havens and dedicate the savings to mental health programs. It was offered by Republicans as an alternative to the Democrats’ plan to raise [...]

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There’s a hole in the PERS bucket

Imagine you have a bucket full of water. You have one problem with your bucket, however. It has a hole in the bottom of it, so the water leaks out. Which would you do first: Fix the hole in the bucket? Or pour more water into it to replace what is leaking out? In Oregon, [...]

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Is PERS fixed?

The Oregon Senate has passed SB 822 — the Democrat’s “PERS Lite” bill. It eliminates the windfall payment to PERS retirees living outside Oregon, who do not pay Oregon income taxes, and it reduces Cost Of Living Allowances somewhat. It also contains a poison pill. Our legislative leaders are “kicking a $350 million can down [...]

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Helping schools requires PERS reform

Oregonians sent elected officials to Salem this session with a clear directive: Reduce class sizes, stop teacher layoffs, and prioritize our schools. We heard this loud and clear, and this March Rep. Peter Buckley and Sen. Richard Devlin, our budget co-chairs, proposed adding $1 billion in additional resources Oregon’s public schools over current levels. The [...]

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It’s time to work together on PERS reform

One of my top priorities entering this session was the reform of Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) in a balanced way. Rapidly increasing costs for the retirement program is costing our local schools and governments millions every year. Presently, there is a $14 billion unfunded liability in the system even with the stock market [...]

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PERS reform would make a difference

Adjusting the PERS Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA) for Tier 1 and 2 members is being proposed in one form or another by the Governor and Democratic and Republican legislators. If passed, what would it mean for the next two-year budget? If passed, the COLA reduction would limit the 2 percent annual COLA to the [...]

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Ideology mustn’t get in the way of reform

At present, the main hurdle to balancing the state budget is ideology, showing up as an insistence that retirees, who worked as teachers, health care workers and in other areas of public service for decades, must be the only ones to bear the brunt of bridging the funding gap we have to be able to [...]

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School board association’s PERS reform plan deserves support

Imagine you will have 10 percent more income for the next two years. Your raise comes on the heels of another 10 percent increase you just enjoyed. I think we would all be pretty excited. That is where Oregon finds itself for the next budget, with an additional $1.7 billion to spend, the equivalent of [...]

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