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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Need You Now

The Oregon Legislature's special session convenes on February 1, 2010 and will run to February 26, 2010. One of the first agenda items will be to consider a motion to override Governor Kulongoski's ill-informed decision to veto SB 897, which passed in the House and Senate by a combined 58-0 vote. SB 897 is intended to require PERS to develop a mechanism that insures potential retirees of getting accurate and audited and certified benefit estimates BEFORE retiring and that such benefits would be fixed (as in not subject to change) after retirement. This bill was inspired by the Kay Bell litigation. It is vitally important that you write to your legislators (Representative and Senator) and urge them to support the veto override. Only by overriding this veto can prospective retirees get a grip on their benefits and the important assurance that PERS won't be coming back long after you retire and say, "oops. We made a small mistake. You owe us $100,000 payable in non-sequential $20 bills". A form of a letter was sent to me today, which will serve as a useful template. I reprint here a slightly modified version:

Dear Representative XXXXXX:

Dear Senator XXXXXX:


As a member of [fill in your union, your organization, whatever], I’m extremely appreciative that both the House and Senate voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 897 in the 2009 Legislature. This broad support reflected the fact that the legislation will provide fairness and accountability for Oregon’s public employees by requiring that PERS’ benefit calculations be accurate and, once fully verified, become my fixed base benefit. I want to urge you to vote to override Govenor Kulongoski’s ill-considered veto of Senate Bill 897 when the legislature meets for its February 2010 special session.

Thank you for your consideration.


Sincerely,


your name
address
phone number


You can find email addresses for all legislators by searching for "Oregon Legislature" using the search engine of your choosing. If you don't know who your legislators are, the same search will take you to the Oregon Legislature's web site where you can enter your address and find out who your legislators are.

Since this veto override will be taken up at the beginning of the Special Session, we need you now to send these emails, phone calls, or letters. If you wait until after the session starts, it may be too late. If you are interested in equity for PERS retirees, this issue is vitally important and your support is needed to urge any reluctant legislator to really consider voting FOR the veto override.

Thanks.




2 comments:

MollyNCharlie said...

Right on, Marc! This is an issue critical to everyone facing PERS retirement. Thank you for urging your readers to act and giving them an easy to follow plan. We don't want anybody to ever face the kind of post-retirement, no effective appeal radical benefit adjustment that Kay Bell faced. Never again!
peg

Jackie said...

Sent my letter to request the vote to override Kulongoski's veto and received the following reply from one:

Thank you for your message regarding SB 897 and the Governor's veto. I do not know yet whether this issue will be taken up during the February Session, but if it is I will be sure Rep Doherty hears your concerns.

Katharine Ryan
Legislative Aide
House District 35
Tigard, King City, SW Portland
(503) 986-1435
rep.margaretdoherty@state.or.us

Not encouraging.
Jackie