Oregon Democrats Prepare For Backlash Against Public Pension Proposal

Mar 25, 2013

SALEM, Ore. – Democrats in the Oregon legislature are bracing themselves for a backlash against a public pension cost cutting proposal they released Monday. The plan would create a sliding scale to cap cost of living increases for retired public workers. Budget-writers hope to apply the savings to education funding.

Democratic House Speaker Tina Kotek says she thinks the plan would hold up in court. But she anticipates a lawsuit.

"There will be people challenging what they see as a breach of contract," Kotek says. "Even if it wasn't an organization, it might be an individual. I'd be hard-pressed to see no one challenging this."

The largest state public workers' union, SEIU, blasted the cost-cutting proposal as "illegal and immoral."

Legislative Republicans and Governor John Kitzhaber have their own public pension cost-cutting measures. The Democrats' version will get its first public hearing on Wednesday.

On the Web:

SB 822: PERS cost-of-living adjustment - Oregon Legislature