Sen. Tim Knopp
Sen. Knopp Votes to Reject Senate Democrats Failed and Inadequate Reform
Salem, OR – Friday Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) took the lead to enact a real Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) fix. Since before the start of the 2013 legislative session, the reform of PERS has been a priority for many schools and local municipalities. Even with increases to their overall budgets, the price tag on PERS has forced them to make significant cuts in education, health, and public safety. Faced with that reality, the State Senate Democrats continued to push, Senate Bill 822, a false and inadequate reform on PERS.
“With 10% more revenue available their plan is to minimally deal with PERS and raise taxes,” Knopp states. “Oregon deserves leaders willing to step to the plate and tackle this crisis. I want to solve the crisis with real reforms and help with job creation. We can do better for our children, seniors, police and firefighters.”
A recent editorial from the Bend Bulletin highlighted that “In the Bend-La Pine school district, as one example, next year’s PERS payment could mean the loss of as many as 74 teachers, if reform goes undone.” Governor Kitzhaber has been an outspoken on PERS reform and he stated recently the PERS reform issue “will not go away” with the passage of SB 822.
“Colleagues PERS is a titanic problem. It is a sinking ship that needs to be rescued,” Knopp proclaimed. “Passing only SB 822 says to kids and their parents, seniors and Oregon’s most vulnerable that we don’t have room in the life boat for you. This is unacceptable.”
Sen. Knopp voted to add amendments to Senate Bill 822 that would have saved Oregon approximately 2 billion dollars of PERS expenditures. The amendments were voted down on a party line vote. SB 822 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.