Oregon’s Protection of Public Employees

In July, 2010, Governor Kulongoski announced the formation of a Reset Cabinet to  work on solutions to Oregon’s financial crisis.  Information regarding the Reset Cabinet and the reason for its creation can be found at http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/governor_reset_cabinet/reset_state_govt.shtml.  Under the topic Analysis: Fiscal Crisis Facing Oregon and the Nation, specific information is given regarding the effect PERS has on Oregon’s deficit.   It may increase the deficit by as much as one billion dollars a year.
The deficit increase caused by PERS is the result of laws  created by PERS members in the legislature.  Those laws have put the entire liability for all PERS losses on the backs of the people of Oregon by guaranteeing the state’s public employees that they will never suffer a loss in their retirement benefits, no matter what happens in the economy.   If losses occur, the people of Oregon must pay more taxes and receive fewer benefits to make  up all PERS losses.  
While the people of Oregon certainly have the right to make that type of policy decision, the current policy was never approved by the people of Oregon.  It was made by PERS members who control the Oregon legislature.   The system that made public employees and their benefits the highest priority in Oregon is still controlled by PERS members.  That system is fundamentally unfair.  It has allowed PERS legislators to impose an unconscionable  financial burden on Oregon’s non-PERS citizens for their own financial benefit.  The system must be changed so that the interests of all Oregonians are fairly represented. 









About Dan Re

I am an attorney who has lived in Bend and practiced law since 1981. In educating myself about the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), I was shocked at how the PERS laws were changed by the legislature, once legislators were allowed to join PERS in 1971, 26 years after PERS was first created. Those changes personally benefitted the legislators who made them at the direct financial expense of the people they were elected to represent. That is wrong and I intend to change it. In 2009, I started a non-profit 501(c)(4) corporation, In RE The People, Inc., for the purpose of informing concerned citizens of what happened regarding PERS and other issues of social and civic importance. I then created this blog to further that objective.
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