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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Party At The End of the World

I've returned from my Spring Break party at the end of the world (or at least at the tip of it) and found a piece of spectacular news awaiting. It seems that the PERB has decided to withdraw its complaints in the Arken and Robinson cases and has joined forces with the PERS Coalition. From the looks of what they're doing, they finally understand what the Supreme Court ruled in Strunk and plan to give "window retirees" everything they're entitled to receive - adjusted current benefits, restored COLA and the like. A spokesman from one of the PERB's law firms Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe said: "It took us quite awhile to parse the wording of the majority opinion in the Strunk et al case, but just last week it dawned on us that the Supreme Court wrote the words "fixed benefit" and said that because it was legislatively determined, it cannot be in error. Therefore, we plan to re-remediate the collection efforts and turn it into a method by which PERS repays all the retirees for lost COLAS and any associated expenses. Because the mechanism is already in place, we will first adjust those members who've already been invoiced and then we will address those members whose accounts have not been touched. It is a complex task, but we should be able to complete all account adjustments by 2009." This seems like such an anticlimactic end to such a long and exhausting process, and I'm a little disappointed at how easy this has been to resolve. I wonder if the Governor was involved in bringing the PERB to its senses. In any case, be sure to mark this day on your calendar as the day this exclusive news appeared, just in case PERS changes its mind tomorrow. [And in case you haven't noticed, do check today's date for important clues about the veracity of the information contained in this post.]

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