Public Affairs

Local 17 Legislative Advocate for Oregon:

Elliot Levin, 800-783-0017 - ext. 128

Oregon legislative session has begun; so have attacks on retirement benefits

Public employees pack the halls of the legislature in Salem outside of the hearing for SB559 and 560.

Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) has introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at significantly cutting PERS benefits. Senate Bill (SB) 559 and 560 would change the final PERS average calculation to 5 years from 3 years, and eliminate the PERS IAP, respectively.

On Feb. 13, hundreds of public employees rallied to the hearings to demonstrate their opposition to balancing the State’s PERS liabilities on the backs of working families and retirees. Union members filled the halls of the Salem capitol, far exceeding the limits of both the hearing room and the overflow rooms provided. Speakers against the bills included firefighters, service employees, and teachers. Local 17 will be taking steps to oppose both SB 559 and 560, and stands in opposition to any plan that would unfairly target public employee benefits. Read our letter to the Senate Committee on Workforce.

Meanwhile, the legislature has been meeting to discuss potential revenue increase plans, including one such plan that would send a new tax proposal to the voters for approval. Local 17 remains hopeful that there will be significant revenue reform this year in order to help alleviate the State’s chronic deficits. We believe that Salem lawmakers need to take responsibility for the budgetary problems that the State and local governments who rely on State funding currently face, and we are urging decisive action to correct critical gaps in public revenue.

2017 Legislative Priorities

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