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Saturday, March 02, 2013
Long And Wasted Years
I don't even know where to begin trying to articulate the ridiculous bills introduced into the Legislature. It is as if a bunch of monkeys got together into a room, were given a slate with all the appropriate catchphrases against PERS, and they randomly assembled a bunch of bills that could inflict the most damage possble on PERS members and retirees. Law? Pshaw. Let's just overwhelm the Oregon Supreme Court until they say uncle and overrule themselves from previous cases (Hughes, OSPSOA, Strunk). The reps and senators have proposed enough bills and enough variants of those bills that it appears that they are playing spaghetti roulette. How many bills can we throw against the wall until (a) one or two stick in the Legislature and (b) the Oregon Supreme Court rules the bills legal. The OSBA completed the throw down yesterday with SB 754. The OSBA represents the school boards of Oregon. Let's not forget that many members of the OSBA are already PERS members and draw huge salaries (Chris Dudley, $200,000 per year and his doesnt have to hit any free throws). The OSBA decided to combine all the offensive bills into one - cut PERS retiree COLA to 2% of the first $24K, stop pension spiking by preventing use of sick leave, overtime, and vacation for FAS, reduce Money Match annuity rate from the actuarially assumed interest rate (currently 8%) to the ridiculously outrageous rate of 4%, terminate the IAP and redirect future contributions to paying down the employER cost of the Full Formula retirement, eliminate both the SB 756 and the HB 3349 income tax subsidy for anyone living out of Oregon. This cluster f**k would nearly halve retirement estimates for near term retirees and would perform a royal flush on retirees. Never mind that much of this is probably not legal; it guarantees that current and near-term retirees can continue to live in a state of dread for at least two more years. Whatever the Supreme Court ultimately rules, it will be years before PERS gets off its collective ass to reinstate whatever the Legislature chooses to take away. The courts have been loathe to prevent implementation, or to urge PERS to fix things after PERS finds out the approach is patently illegal.
Watch this space for more news on how our duly elected Legislators (liars many; ignorant more) deal with this group of bills designed to insure that no sane person will ever choose public employment, teaching, or service again for the rest of their lives. They want quality instruction. Look elsewhere. I can't imagine anyone with more than two functioning neurons would ever choose teaching again. The promises are nothing more than lies designed to lure you into a false sense of security. Get out now! I've warned you that there is no future in public employment. Don't blame me. Blame the Republicans and our Governor.