The Fearless one is charting course for a brief vacation in the American southwest. Regular blog posts will resume upon my return on July 19. In the meantime, the Oregon Legislature closed up shop today, bidding sine die until next February. The only bad bill to emerge this session is SB 822, which cuts this year's COLA for retirees to a flat 1.5%. In addition, the bill repeals the income tax subsidies embodied in SB 656(1991) and HB 3349(1995) for any PERS retiree not subject to Oregon Income Tax (essentially all retirees no longer living in Oregon). Supposedly PERS is required to contact every retiree fairly soon and get an affidavit of whether the retiree's pension is subject to Oregon Income tax for 2013. Just in case you haven't retired and spun the roulette wheel to decide whether to retire while the legislature was in session, there is more possibly bad news on the horizon. Both the Governor and the Senate President announced that they are going to let legislators rest and then try to revive the grand tax and PERS cuts bargain that eluded legislators in the waning days of this session. If the leaders can get the right number of legislators to commit to voting for the two pieces, they will call a special session (probably in the Fall) to enact additional legislation. It will take more PERS cuts to get the Rs to sign on, but they would also have to agree to Revenue measures the Ds want badly enough to sell out more PERS members and retirees. It is unlikely that a special session will take place before the ongoing labor negotiations conclude.
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