In November, 2010, 12 new legislators were elected to the Oregon Legislative Assembly, 3 Senators, Lee Beyer(D), Alan Olsen(R) and Chuck Thomsen(R) and 9 Representatives, Wally Hicks(R), Katie Brewer(R), Patrick Sheehan(R), Mark Johnson(R), Jason Conger(R), Julie Parrish(R), Shawn Lindsay(R), Mike McLane(R) and Matt Wand(R).
This month, I e-mailed each of those new legislators and asked them if they were PERS members and if they planned to join PERS as a legislators. So far, the following 7 have responded to my e-mail:
- Sen.Thomsen: not PERS member, unsure about joining PERS as legislator;
- Rep. Conger: not PERS member, will not join PERS as legislator;
- Rep Lindsay: not PERS member, will not join PERS as legislator;
- Rep. Johnson: not PERS member, probably will not join PERS as legislator;
- Rep. McLane: not PERS member, will not join PERS as legislator;
- Rep. Parrish: PERS member, will not join PERS as legislator;
- Rep. Wand: not PERS member, will not join PERS as legislator.
If I do not hear from Senators Lee Beyer(D) and Alan Olsen(R) and Representatives Wally Hicks(R), Katie Brewer(R) and Patrick Sheehan(R) by March, I will again request that information from them. If any of them decline to respond to this second request, I will make a formal public records request for the information.
Regarding the PERS status of the 12 legislators who did not return to the legislature, 9 of them, 3 Senators and 6 Representatives, were PERS members. There are less PERS legislators this year than there were last year but PERS members are still in charge of any changes to the PERS laws. This is especially true in the Senate, where at least 21 of the 30 Senators are PERS members and all of the Senators in leadership positions are PERS members.