pensions

Cacophony / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon's highest court is pondering the fate of cuts to the state's public pension system. Justices heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys for retired public workers and for the state.

Wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

The fate of cuts to Oregon's public pension system is on the line this week. The Oregon Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case that pits public employee unions against state government.

At issue: A pair of bills passed by Oregon lawmakers last year and signed by Governor John Kitzhaber. The measures are aimed at reducing the cost of providing pensions for public workers such as teachers, firefighters and state and local government employees. The main way the bills do this is to cut the annual cost of living increase for retirees.

Last year, Oregon lawmakers approved a bill that will bar their future colleagues from signing up for the state's public pension plan, or PERS.

A Washington state senator says if 401(k)s are good enough for Boeing machinists, they should be good enough for those who hold elected office.

Billions of dollars are at stake as the Washington Supreme Court considers a pair of pension cases. Oral arguments were Thursday.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a special session agenda. As of this afternoon, all five measures have received approval from at least one chamber.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is hitting the road with his push for additional legislative action to curb public pension costs. The Democrat visited with local leaders in Hillsboro Friday.

Cacaphony / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon lawmakers had hoped to finish up their legislative session over the weekend. But it didn’t work out that way. Instead, the final gavel is expected to fall sometime Monday. Democrats control both chambers and the governor’s office, and they claimed a series of victories. But many of the highest-profile agenda items didn’t go as planned. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman explains.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon lawmakers are locked in a stalemate over whether to make additional cuts to the state's pension system for public employees. The debate will affect every unit of government in Oregon. Most of the conversation at the capitol has surrounded the impact to state agencies and schools. But city and county governments are also watching the pension battle closely.

Some education and business groups are pushing Oregon lawmakers for deeper cuts to the state’s public pension system. Talks between Governor John Kitzhaber and four legislative leaders stalled this week without an agreement.

Advocates for additional pension cuts made their case at a press conference on the front steps of the state capitol Thursday. Betty Reynolds serves on the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board. She says the current system is too costly.

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