April 24, 2013

Action Alert for Oregon: Preserve Vital Services

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,

Heather Conroy,
Executive Director

1 comment:

Ann Montague said...

This is one Union's official view of the Democrat's betrayal on PERS. That the poor Dems just hated that bill but they passed it anyway. So they could move on to the important stuff. Trying to stay positive..Maybe this will be an opportunity to have a discussion with the political committee about why we support these people who vote against us time after time. Kitzhaber is another great example. He forced us out on strike previously and now attacks PERS recipients at the same times he gives out goodies to Phil Knight.