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Thursday, February 02, 2012

When The Whip Comes Down

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.


Larry said...

This is the response I got from Courtney's office regarding my email to them about the issue.

Dear Larry,
Senator Courtney has not taken a position on HB 4033. The bill is currently in the House Business and Labor Committee co-chaired by Rep. Chris Garrett and Rep. Bill Kennemer.

Debbie Miller
Senate President's Office

mpguy said...

It makes some sense for Courtney to take this view. Unless he has the votes go move the bill through the Legislature, all he's going to accomplish with a hearing is to generate arguments and more unwanted opportunities for Republicans to bash public employees without there being any benefit in exchange for the hassle.

mrfearless47 said...

@mpguy. The Republicans don't have ownership of the anti-PERS sentiment in the Legislature. Many Democrats have been just as aggressively anti-PERS. This is one instance of bipartisan hatred.

mrfearless47 said...

To @sbag48. You posted my personal information here and I deleted your post. I don't give a rip whether people look up my information on databases supplied by the newspapers. I'm opposed to the invasion of my privacy, my benefits were largely self-funded by my own work, the tuition I generated and the grant funds I brought in to the University. Needless to say, I do not regard my benefits as being paid in any way by the taxpayers. My own work funded my own benefits. Therefore, no matter how many times you try to post my personal benefit information, I will reject the post. If you post it a second time, I'll report it as spam.