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Sunday, August 27, 2006
None of Us Are Free
Since my last post lots of little details about PERS-related subjects have surfaced. None of this is "new" information and many of you probably know most of it. Nevertheless, for those of you who spent the last month actually taking a vacation from PERS-related news, here is the brief 4-1-1. First, PERS has delayed for at least a month invoicing the first batch of double-lump summers until October. The speculation is that this is because hearings in two significant lawsuits are scheduled for September 28th and a negative outcome for PERS in either of those cases might delay implementation of collection efforts even further. In that regard, both the Robinson case (concerning section 14b of the PERS Reform Bill HB 2003), and the Arken case (concerning the breach of contract and promissory estoppel claims of "window retirees") will be heard in Judge Henry Kantor's Multnomah County Circuit Court on the morning and afternoon of September 28th, respectively. In the meantime, the hearings on the legal fee reimbursements have taken a rather bizarre (and unfortunate) turn. A closer reading of the Supreme Court's decision to award legal fees to the "winners" in the Strunk case has pundits suggesting that the "winning" attorneys will get to recover their fees from PERS, which will, in turn, pass these recovery charges on to the people who "won" - retirees and actives. Whether this is true or not depends on how the next conference goes on October 19th, but it is clear that the reports from the previous conference (August 15th) did not seem to provide any hope that the losers would pay much "out of pocket" for attorney fees. The costs will just be passed on to members and retirees.
That's the peanut summary so far. Just remember the title of today's post - none of us are free.
P.S. It is no longer simple to full justify these entries. So today's post is simply printed in its native format, not prettified. I know how to do it in html but I'm too lazy to edit the html code.