Sen. Knopp honors pledge not to take PERS

Sen. Tim Knopp_thb

Sen. Tim Knopp

Pushes for Further Reforms to PERS System

Salem, OR – Senator Tim Knopp took the oath of office as the State Senator for District 27 (R-Bend/Redmond/Sunriver/Tumalo) on January 14th. Along with being sworn in, he upheld a campaign promise not to join the state retirement program known as the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS).

“It is very important to me to honor the promises that I’ve made,” Sen. Knopp states. “If we don’t fix PERS now there will be fewer firefighters protecting our communities, fewer police officers on the streets, and fewer teachers in the classroom.”

“The upcoming session holds a tremendous opportunity for the Legislature to enact meaningful reform. Already, Governor Kitzhaber has led by taking steps against the paralysis in the Legislature on this issue. But this isn’t enough.  In order to maintain the proper commitment to PERS Reforms, elected officials must be objective and free of personal conflicts. I encourage them to join me in saying no to PERS.”

Knopp was elected to his first term in the Oregon State Senate in November 2012. He represents the communities of Bend, Redmond, Sunriver, and Tumalo. Knopp was previously in the Legislature from 1999 to 2005 for three terms, including one as Oregon House Majority Leader, where he led the PERS Reforms of 2003 that saved taxpayers billions.

Senator Knopp was appointed to the Education and Workforce Development and Health Care and Human Services committees for the 2013 Legislative Session.  He serves in the capacity of Vice-Chair for the Education and Workforce Development committee.

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Posted by at 12:14 | Posted in Oregon Senate, PERS | 3 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • HBguy

    Here is a snippet of an article from Oregon Politifact a few months ago. It referenced a promise by John Ludlow to not become a PERS member if he were elected. But it’s relevant here….

    “We turned to Paul Cleary, the retirement system’s executive director. He pointed to Oregon Revised Statutes 238A.100 (2):

    A person who is elected or appointed to an office with a fixed term …may elect not to become a member of the pension program by giving the Public Employees Retirement Board written notice not later than 30 days after taking office.

    The trick here, says Cleary, is that for a person to decline membership, that person cannot have been a PERS member, ever. Ludlow is a former Wilsonville city councilor and served as Wilsonville’s mayor from 1989 to 1991, but received no retirement benefits from his time in public office.”

    …So, I know Sen. Knopp served in the Legislature previously. Assuming he was a PERS member then, can he still decline PERS benefits now? Or did he opt out when first elected to the House years ago?

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