Google has been a bit problematic the past several weeks and so I've had to hold back some comments I had intended to post. Two posts went astray and I've yet to see them appear here. So, I'll try to reconstruct one of the two, and will have a new one tomorrow.
It has been awhile since we chatted about HB 2456. As you recall, this bill was heavily amended to affect only members retiring after 12/31/11. It will remove the income tax subsidy that some of those retirees are entitled to. The bill passed out of the House Business and Labor Committee unanimously without the required Fiscal Impact Statement. Apparently, the committee didn't feel it needed to know whether this bill would save any money or not. Those of us with knowledge of the system and how the tax subsidy works knew that it couldn't possibly save much money. Now, the Fiscal Impact Statement is out and has received virtually no coverage. It is hysterical to read as it demonstrates the silliness and meanness of HB 2456. In the 2011-13 biennium, the bill will cost almost $200,000 more to administer than the system will recover. A new Legislative miracle - negative savings. Even after 2011-13 when most of the sinking costs are over with, the estimates of savings are virtually nominal. The estimates indicate net savings of about $100,000 per biennium - a true genius measure that barely recovers any money at all.
The bill sits before the House/Senate Ways and Means Committee where it will be considered any day now. I know that members of the Legislature read this site. Here's hoping that this bill - as badly botched a bill as can possibly be put together and that ends up being simply mean-spirited and nothing else - will be dispatched with the same haste as Osama bin Laden. Man and woman guys of the Ways and Means Committee. Pretend you are Seal Team 6 out to save the State of Oregon from stupidity. I know times are hard, but surely not so hard that you would pass a bill to spend more than you save. As a policeman on a snowy mountain pass once said to an idiot driver trying to pass a line of traffic going uphill - "get some intelligence".