Finally, at last, "PERS Day" at the Oregon Legislature. After waiting until the last possible moment, the House Business and Labor Committee has revealed the PERS agenda for this year's legislature. On Friday, the Committee will hear the following bills - HB 2113, HB 2114, HB 2456, HB 3218, HB 2989, and HB 3116. Since Friday 4/8 is the last day to hear such bills, we can presume that no more surprises await PERS members and retirees. HB 2113 and 2114 are "housecleaning" bills introduced by PERS. HB 2113 pertains to legislative members of PERS and prohibits them from participating in PERS or any PERS-administered 457 plan (see also, HB 2989). HB 2114 pertains to inactive OPSRP (Tier 3) members and primarily involves the IAP withdrawals of those members who become reemployed in a PERS-covered position again. HB 2456 is the bill that prohibits PERS from paying the tax subsidy to retirees residing outside of Oregon (This bill has to go to House Ways and Means Committee after clearing Business and Labor). HB 3218 proposes to reduce the PERS "pickup" from 6% to 3% maximum. Finally, HB 3116 prohibits a public employer from re-employing a retired member of the system for one year after retirement.
To be frank, none of these bills is a surprise. What will be a surprise is if any of them make a pass through the House Business and Labor Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, the entire House, then the Senate, and finally the Governor.
While members and retirees now know what to worry about, it is a long way from here to passage. HB 2456 is probably the cruelest of bills, but it isn't clear what the actual form of the current bill is. It may have been modified from its initial proposal, as may have been all the various other bills. If you are interested in testifying on any of these bills, You must be present in Hearing Room E, Legislative Building, at 8:00 a.m. on Friday April 8, 2011. If you have any electronic testimony you are asked to have it to the committee 24 hours in advance (mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org) . Persons wanting to testify and make either video, DVD, powerpoint or overhead projection presentations should contact committee staff at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting. If you need ADA accomodations, you should phone the Capitol and ask to speak to Karen Hupp or Juliene Popinga at 1-800-332-2313 at least 72 hours in advance.