This was not a great day in the Oregon House for public workers or the people we serve, but the fight for fairness in this legislative session is far from over.
First, Republican leaders and their allies in the “loophole lobby”
derailed a bi-partisan effort to make big corporations and the
wealthiest Oregonians to pay a bit more in taxes to produce $275 million
in revenue to avoid service cuts. Then Senate Bill 822, which caps
COLAs for many PERS recipients, passed the House and went to the
governor for signing over our vehement opposition and avowed intention
to challenge in court.
The PERS vote was 33-27. A number of those who voted YES — all
Democrats — hated the bill but wanted to conclude the debate on PERS and
move to focusing on funding the services our members provide. Most of
those who voted no want to make even deeper cuts.
Like the PERS vote, the maneuvering over revenue was politically
complex. Pro-public service legislators succeeded in keeping the
process moving forward by passing a greatly reduced version of the bill
to extend the debate on funding vital services Oregonians rely on.
We are reminded once again of the power of big business to manipulate
the political process to avoid paying its fair share. The original
revenue bill started the day with bi-partisan support, but corporate
lobbyists and the leaders they control compelled some House members to
oppose the larger package.
The fight over revenue and against further PERS cuts now moves to the State Senate. Contact your Senator today to call for restoration of the full $275 million revenue package.
In it together,