PERS

The Oregon Supreme Court tossed out much of the state legislature's 2013 attempts to curb pension payouts to retired public workers.

Katie Campbell

The city of Ashland passed a resolution Tuesday night supporting divestment from the fossil fuel industry. It joins Eugene as the only other Northwest city to take this kind of action to fight climate change.

The scope of the resolution is limited.

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.

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.

Public employee unions have followed through with their threat to challenge legislatively-approved cuts to public pensions. A union-backed lawsuit, filed this week, seeks to overturn the new law.

Unions representing many of Oregon's public employees have said all along that they would challenge the new cost-cutting policy. With that in mind, lawmakers have already fast-tracked any legal challenges directly to the Oregon Supreme Court.

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.

On the eve of a new state revenue forecast, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is putting pressure on state lawmakers to reach a deal over taxes and public pensions. The Democrat proposed a compromise Wednesday aimed at pleasing Republicans and Democrats in the legislature.

The Oregon House Tuesday approved a measure to renew a tax paid by hospitals and long-term care facilities. The concept isn't controversial since the institutions that pay it are largely reimbursed by federal Medicaid dollars. But the vote became a skirmish in a larger political battle in Salem.

  SALEM, Ore. – Cost cutting to Oregon’s public sector pension system is on the fast track. The Oregon House could vote as soon as next week on a controversial proposal to cut benefits for retired public employees. The Oregon Senate approved the measure Thursday on a party-line vote.

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