Peter Courtney, President of the Oregon Senate, has decreed that HB 4033 will not get heard during this legislative session. HB 4033 is an OPRI-sponsored and supported bill that would stop PERS from releasing the names along with the information about retirement benefits in the future. The media (principally the Oregonian and the Statesman Journal) are exerting tremendous pressure on the Legislature over this bill, and it appears that Peter Courtney is not willing to have the bill heard unless he has overwhelming bipartisan support to withstand the onslaught of the newspapers' lobbying and bully pulpit. I'm hardly surprised by these tactics; I fully expected them.
At this point, I don't know how much help it will be to flood Senator Courtney's office with letters, but I think it wouldn't hurt. I would also cc my own legislators (House and Senate) to dial up the pressure. At the very least, the Legislature needs to know that constituents view this as a high priority. Please make it clear that you are NOT opposed to the information release; you are ONLY opposed to attaching names to the individual pieces of information.
We should not allow one person to determine the fate of more than 100,000 individuals who've already been exposed needlessly by the Oregonian and the Statesman Journal.