Saturday, February 13, 2010

Colorado public employees' pension reform bill gets bipartisan support and appears to be on a fast track

From John Curry, February 13, 2010
PERA reform bill gets bipartisan blessing
February 12, 2010
By Marianne Goodland
With a March 1 deadline fast approaching, the House Finance Committee Wednesday night gave its blessing to Senate Bill 1, the bill to bring the pension plan of the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) to full funded status. The 8-3 vote had the support of the committee’s six Democrats as well as Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, and Rep. Ken Summers, R-Lakewood.
SB 1 would set up a plan for paying for PERA’s unfunded liability in 30 years or less. After the 2008 market collapse, PERA’s ratio of assets to liabilities dropped to about 51 percent, with $29.3 billion in assets to pay $57 billion in liabilities. The 2009 market was much kinder, with the investments earning an estimated 15 percent, which increased assets to $33 billion. However, PERA officials warn that without a major fix, the pension plan would be bankrupt in as little as 26 years, and could be in a “death spiral,” where assets would have to start to be sold to pay benefits, in about four years.
Under SB 1, retirees would give up their annual 3.5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2010. The COLA would drop to the lower of 2 percent beginning in 2011 or indexed based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W). The COLA also could drop to zero if PERA experiences a negative investment return year. PERA makes its annual COLA adjustment in March, so in order for the COLA to be eliminated for 2010, the bill needs to be signed by Gov. Bill Ritter by March 1.
The bill also requires PERA employers in all divisions except the school division to increase contributions by 2 percent of payroll beginning in 2013. The current contribution by PERA employees also would increase by 2 percent. School division employers would contribute 1.5 percent beginning in 2013; school division employees would contribute 2.5 percent in order to gain an earlier retirement at age 58.
The plan also makes changes in the employee’s required age at retirement. Most current public employees would have to wait until age 55 to retire, with at least 30 years of service. Public employees hired after Jan. 1, 2011, would have to reach age 58 with 30 years of service before being eligible for benefits. After Jan. 1, 2017, that age requirement would increase to 60 years.
The vote to send SB 1 to the House Appropriations Committee came after more than seven hours of testimony, much of it from PERA retirees and others who opposed SB 1.
Bill sponsor and Assistant House Majority Leader Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, said a strong pension plan is an important tool for school districts to recruit top teachers. Kerr, a schoolteacher himself, said school districts look to national markets for top-flight teachers. Without a stable pension plan, top teachers “will go elsewhere,” he said.
Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Englewood, said his constituents who oppose the COLA changes raise concerns about high inflation, and the burden that would be especially hard for low-income retirees. Kerr responded that PERA is willing to look at language dealing with a “means-tested” COLA, an idea also supported by Colorado WINS.
The positive investment returns in 2009 led to changes in SB 1, according to PERA Executive Director Meredith Williams. That included a 2 percent COLA in 2011, allowing for a lower retirement age for school employees and reducing the “corridor” — the point at which PERA could start to reduce employer or employee contributions. Under the Senate amendments, PERA could start reducing those contributions when the plan reaches 103 percent of assets to liabilities. In the bill’s original version PERA would have to reach 110 percent, which has never happened in the plan’s 75-year history.
Williams explained that the plan would still meet the 30-year timeline for full funding because of the 2009 investment returns. “But if we have another 2008 we are in a very dangerous place,” Williams told the committee.
Responding to the many retirees who have testified against the COLA change, PERA General Counsel Greg Smith said putting the burden entirely on employers and current or future employees would not solve the unfunded liability. In order to begin addressing the problem in the near term, PERA would need some of the millions that annually cover inflation adjustments. “The only solution that works involves impacting the COLA,” he said.
Rep. Spencer Swalm, R-Centennial, raised the possibility that other states with defined benefit plans that go bankrupt could be bailed out by the federal government. “We’d look like suckers,” he said. “I’m not willing to bet on the federal government riding to the rescue,” Williams responded. But if the federal government did get involved, Williams said he would work to ensure any bailout applied equally to every state, and then PERA could reduce its contribution rates.
Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, questioned why Williams and Smith still have their jobs, suggesting that if they worked in the private sector they might have been fired. “A lot of people would like to see you lose your jobs over this,” she told them.
Williams pointed out that many leaders in private sector investment funds that got into trouble instead got millions in bonuses. But the reaction of Gerou’s constituents is a natural one, he said. PERA held town meetings all over the state that drew more than 4,200 comments. Of those comments, 40 percent said to fix the problem but leave the benefits of the commenter alone. Another 40 percent said fix the problem and the commenter would be willing to share in the sacrifice. The last 20 percent said, “Fire Meredith,” Williams said. “This job used to have pleasures associated with it,” he said. “Now, not so much.”
Williams took the opportunity to apologize for PERA’s woes and to tell retirees how badly he feels about their situation. “I’m really sorry we had the year we had [in 2008],” he said. Listening to the testimony of retirees who worry about the future, both last month and Wednesday night, was painful, he said.
Former state Senator Norma Anderson, R-Lakewood, defended the work of PERA’s leaders. “Meredith has done a good job, and there’s no one better than Greg Smith in his knowledge of pension funds,” she said.
Several who opposed the COLA changes in SB 1 asked that an interim committee be formed to study the issue for another year. Gary Justus of said it was too early to make a $50 billion decision and that a year of study, similar to what was done for Pinnacol Assurance, was necessary.
Another suggestion was that PERA’s defined benefit plan be done away with entirely. That came from Barry Poulson, a CU-Boulder economics professor who also is a senior fellow with the Independence Institute. Poulson said the situation with PERA is much worse than legislators are being led to believe. He said he compared PERA to other state pension plans and found that its unfunded liability is much larger than other state plans. “This is a failed system,” he said, and laid the blame on PERA’s expected investment return of 8.5 percent, which he said leads to riskier investing. (PERA’s board lowered that expected estimate to 8 percent in October.) “If you pass SB 1 PERA will still make risky investments,” Poulson warned the committee.
Poulson pointed to what happened in Alaska, where he said the state restructured its pension plan, replaced its defined benefit plan with a defined contribution plan for new hires and put the plan’s oversight into the hands of its governor. The result, according to Poulson, was an improvement in its funded status. Poulson noted that this idea is embedded in HB 1207, sponsored by Rep. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Keith King, R-Colorado Springs. “This is what you need to do instead of a Band-aid,” Poulson said.
Rep. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, asked what happened to the value of defined contribution plans in 2008. “My 401(k) took a big hit,” he said. Poulson said that his retirement plan, which is in TIAA-CREF, is valued at $1.5 million after 45 years of membership, but dodged repeated questions from Kefalas on what had happened to other defined contribution plans.
Thomas Thielemier of Pueblo, a PERA retiree, who also backed the proposal to study PERA for a year, laid part of the blame on the recent merger between PERA and the Denver Public Schools Retirement System plan. Thielemier said that DPS is putting $74 million per year into paying off certificates ofparticipation that made the DPS plan fully funded, when that money should be going into the employer contribution to PERA to help pay down its unfunded liability.
Former Assistant Attorney General Stephen Smith said he believed everything in SB 1 is legal except for the COLA change. “They’re setting themselves and you up for failure,” he told the committee.
Responding to the issues raised during the hearing, Greg Smith said that speculation that the merger with DPS drove PERA to its current situation is unfounded. Dollars that go into one division of PERA, such as DPS, cannot flow into another. The DPS portion of PERA is an entirely different division, he said, and does not affect the other divisions of PERA, nor their funded status.
As to the specter of lawsuits that may be filed against the pension plan, Smith said the law is uncertain and “we will be making law in this process…the appropriate response is to pass SB 1 and resolve it in court.” That didn’t sit well with Gerou, who said she did not like passing laws that would get the state sued.
Gerou also asked about the costs to covert PERA to a defined contribution plan for new hires — and that drew an admission from Williams that it would be cheaper. The unfunded liability doesn’t go away and still has to be covered, he said. Under a defined contribution plan, employees’ contributions cover their own benefits; the employer contributions would eventually pay off the unfunded liability. In order for this to work the state could go with a “low-ball” defined contribution plan, Williams said. “But a well-run, defined benefit plan is still a low cost producer of benefits for retirees,” he said. “We’re still the best thing going.”
The committee turned down eight amendments offered by Republican members, including turning PERA into a defined contribution plan, or taking legislators out of the plan for conflict of interest reasons.
Gerou, in explaining her “no” vote, said that the hours of testimony from retirees showed that the bill did not have “buy-in. If you don’t get people to understand what needs to be done, you’ve failed,” she said. “People who have already retired deserve better than this.”
But Kagan said that taking action now requires courage, foresight and wisdom. “The easiest thing to do is to ignore the problem for another five years,” he said. “Future retirees will look back at 2010 and be glad” for the action taken by the Legislature.
Rep. Andy Kerr had the last word. “We need to fix this and fix it soon,” regardless of the potential for litigation. PERA might get sued if SB 1 passes, but it might get sued if nothing is done. “What happens to a deer in the headlights if it doesn’t move?” Kerr said.
Greg Smith told The Statesman after the hearing that it was important for people to address the issue with accurate information and facts, alluding to several witnesses who had made inaccurate assumptions. “We’re working to get accurate information out and will continue to do so.”

Friday, February 12, 2010

Profits soar?

From John Curry, February 12, 2010
Of course they did! The more services you deny the more money you make! John
U.S. health insurers' profits soar
Study says insurers made billions more, served fewer people in 2009; companies challenge findings

By NOAM N. LEVEY, Tribune, February 12, 2010
WASHINGTON -- As the nation struggled last year with rising health care costs and a recession, the five largest health insurance companies racked up combined profits of $12.2 billion -- up 56 percent over 2008, according to a new report by liberal health care activists.
Based on company financial reports for 2009 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the report said insurers WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Cigna Corp., Aetna and Humana Inc. covered 2.7 million fewer people than they did the year before. The report Thursday also said three of the five insurers cut the proportion of premiums they spent on their customers' medical care, committing relatively more to salaries, administrative expenses and profits.
Prepared by Heath Care for America Now, a coalition of liberal advocacy groups and labor unions, the report was aimed at bolstering the drive by Democrats to complete work on a health care overhaul, which insurers have vigorously opposed.
Industry representatives Thursday criticized the report's approach, pointing out that 2008 was a bad year financially across many industries, skewing the 2009 comparison.
"It is disingenuous to look at the profits at one company today compared to where it was in the depth of a recession," said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry's Washington-based lobbying arm.
The company 2009 profits are nonetheless intensifying pressure on an industry already under attack for raising premiums and denying coverage to millions of Americans.
"That's why we need health insurance reform today in this country and why we are going to continue in the Congress to work on this until we see it through," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a leading advocate of the health legislation being pushed by Democrats on Capitol Hill.
In California, Anthem Blue Cross, a subsidiary of WellPoint, is facing growing scrutiny over its decision to raise premiums for individual health insurance policies by as much as 39 percent this year for some consumers.
Thursday, WellPoint defended the rate increase in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, saying that the rising rates reflect soaring medical costs and will average closer to 20 percent for most customers.
Sebelius said "it remains difficult to understand" how premium increases of that size by can be justified when WellPoint Inc. reported a $2.7 billion profit in the last quarter of 2009.
Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New York state is a Wellpoint subsidiary.
WellPoint also said Anthem's individual business in California lost money in 2009, as the weak economy prompted many customers to switch to lower-cost options. The company did not say how much Anthem lost.
Indianapolis-based WellPoint as a whole posted a profit, recording net income of more than $4.7 billion in 2009, thanks in part to the sale of its NextRx pharmacy benefit management business, which accounted for roughly half the company's profit.
That put WellPoint's profit margin at 7.3 percent, the highest of the five big insurers. Margins at the other four ranged from 3.4 percent for Louisville, Ky., based Humana to 7.1 percent for Philadelphia based Cigna.
Other sectors of the health care industry, including pharmaceutical companies and device makers, typically are more profitable. But the industry's improving financial fortunes is drawing more criticism because all but one of the companies achieved the better results at the same time they lost customers.
WellPoint shed nearly 1.4 million customers, a 3.9 percent drop over 2008, according to its filings. And Cigna lost 5.5 percent of its customers, or 639,000 people.
Only Aetna, which also was the only company whose profits decreased from 2008, gained new customers, picking up an additional 1.2 million people, an increase of 6.9 percent.
The shrinking customer base -- which reflects increasing unemployment and the growing number of companies that are dropping coverage -- was offset slightly by growth in the companies' public sector business.
Many increased the number of people they insure through Medicare and Medicaid. The government programs for the elderly and the poor increasingly rely on private health plans to administer benefits.
Industry analyst Sheryl Skolnick, a senior vice president at CRT Capital Group, said many of the insurance companies would likely benefit from more customers.
But they are driven to increase prices for their products to satisfy investors, which in turn drives away more and more customers.
"It is a terrible thing to run your business for Wall Street," Skolnick said. "It creates very bad incentives, and it ultimately prevents you from doing the thing that is in the best long-term interest of your business. ... There is no way that as long as these businesses are publicly traded, they can have the best interest of their customers at heart."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pension reform bill introduced into the Minnesota legislature

From John Curry, February 11, 2010
Fix sought for Minnesota teacher pension fund
Legislators must OK increased employee, district contributions
By Megan Boldt, 2/10/2010
The board that oversees pensions for teachers and administrators is asking legislators to increase employee and employer contributions and reduce annual increases for retirees.
Last year, the Teachers Retirement Association fund dropped from $18.1 billion to $13.8 billion because of falling investments and increasing benefit costs. Its assets could be exhausted by 2032 if nothing is changed.
"Doing nothing is not an option," said John Wicklund, assistant executive director of administration for the TRA. "Investments are up, but we just can't count on that. We're not going to invest our way out of this. The hole is just too deep."
A bill was introduced this week in the Senate to make the changes. The TRA is not looking for state funds, but the changes would cost local school districts millions of dollars and reduce paychecks for thousands of teachers and retirees.
It will be difficult for school districts to pay for increased contributions, said Bob Meeks, executive director of the Minnesota School Boards Association. "But it has to be fixed. The more we put it off, the more it's going to cost."
The TRA covers about 50,000 retirees and 77,000 active teachers across the state. Teachers in St. Paul and Duluth are covered by their own pension funds.
Employees and employers each put 5.5 percent of the employee's salary into the fund. The association's board wants to increase that amount incrementally to 7.5 percent over four years.
Retirees get a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase annually. That would be frozen for 2011 and 2012. In 2013, the increase would be 2 percent.
Benefit payouts are determined by salary and years of service. Wicklund said members who retired this past summer on average received a monthly pension of about $2,200.
Meeks said his group supports the fix, but he hopes lawmakers will give school districts additional levying authority to help pay for their increased contributions. He also would like to see a more stringent freeze on retiree payouts until the fund is stabilized.
"We need access to some property-tax dollars," Meeks said. "Otherwise, we'll have to cut more employees to save employees' retirements."
The TRA's $4.3 billion fund drop in 2009 is mainly due to falling investments — $3.3 billion to be exact. Benefit payments made during that time totaled about $1.4 billion. The fund brought in about $453 million in employee and employer contributions last year. As of last June, 23 percent of the pension's long-term liabilities were unfunded.
Pensions of the Minnesota State Retirement System, which represents state workers and those at the University of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Council, and the Public Employees Retirement Association, which represents city, county and nonteaching school workers, experienced similar declines in 2009.
Sen. Don Betzold, DFL-Fridley, said each fund has a unique situation, but the funds share some problems: fewer active employees paying into the system, more retirees who are living longer and a bad economy. All three funds will need to be fixed this session, he said.
"There is not going to be any state money to do it," said Betzold, who chairs the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement. "But the stakeholders recognize that it needs to be done and are on board, as long as everyone involved shares in the pain."
Tom Dooher, president of Education Minnesota, said the statewide teachers union is not endorsing any specific solutions at this time. In a statement, Dooher said stable pensions, equitable contributions and competitive benefits are critical to attracting and retaining the best teachers.
Dooher said previous legislative actions played a part in weakening the pension fund and any remedy should include state contributions.
"Minnesota's pension plan for teachers already significantly lags behind most other states, and it's important that we address these issues," he said.
There is a major sticking point that observers say could crumble the whole deal — disagreement over whether the fix should include better benefits for teachers hired after 1989.
Those teachers are not eligible for full retirement benefits until age 66, unlike those hired before 1989, who can qualify for retirement when their age and years of service add up to 90.
Charlie Kyte, executive director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, said changes need to be made now to stabilize the fund, and better benefits can be dealt with later.
"It would be irresponsible not to fix this," Kyte said.
Megan Boldt can be reached at 651-228-5495.

New York City pension funds finally collect with backdating settlement!

From John Curry, February 11, 2010
Headlines like the one below seldom make your daily local "rag," do they? That, in and of itself, is a sad commentary on the current psyche of the general American public. Most people tend to forget that the real loser in all of this is the individual pensioner and his/her pension system. Is the general public (and pensioners in particular) so used to corruption that they don't seem to care anymore? I certainly hope not.
Of particular interest in this article is a sentence near the end which states, and I quote, "Other major backdating settlements include: a $925 million settlement involving managed care company UnitedHealth Group Inc. in 2008." I'll bet many retirees weren't even aware of that settlement, were they? Oh, by the way, we retirees furnish healthcare insurance for "our" associates (yes, even their spouses) at STRS through UnitedHealth! But, that's OK, isn't it? John
Juniper Networks to pay $169M in backdating suit
Juniper Networks to pay $169M to settle stock options backdating lawsuit

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Juniper Networks Inc. has agreed to pay $169 million to settle a 4-year-old lawsuit over mishandled stock options.

The penalty is huge for Juniper -- it's more than half the network-equipment company's total profits from last year -- and represents one of the biggest settlements of its kind.

A furor over "backdating," which refers to an accounting practice in which the dates and amounts on employee stock-option awards are changed to boost the recipients' windfalls, erupted about five years ago, leading to investigations of dozens of companies, criminal charges against executives, and numerous shareholder lawsuits.

Shareholders claim stock prices were harmed by the executives' financial shenanigans, which falsely depressed their companies' expenses and inflated their profits.

The settlement was reached this week by lawyers for Juniper and the lead plaintiff, a group of New York City pension funds that had invested in Juniper.

New York City Comptroller John Liu said the settlement signals that executives can't "play by their own rules behind closed doors."

The settlement must be approved by a federal judge in San Jose.

Juniper declined to comment.

In 2007, Juniper settled Securities and Exchange Commission charges over its options practices. The company did not admit wrongdoing and did not have to pay a fine.

The commission alleged that Juniper drastically understated its expenses in a scheme executed "unilaterally" by Juniper's general counsel, Lisa Berry. The SEC accused Berry of backdating most Juniper options grants from mid-1999 to mid-2003, and created records of meetings that never occurred, during which the options were supposedly approved.

Berry was charged by the SEC for her role in Juniper's options practices as well as at her previous employer, KLA-Tencor Corp., where she held the same job. That case is still pending.

Berry's lawyer referred inquiries to Juniper's outside counsel, who did not return calls.

The company has already paid dearly for the problem. It took $894.7 million in pretax charges for the years 1999 to 2005 to account for numerous grants that carried incorrect dates and were designed to boost the potential windfall for the recipients.

Other major backdating settlements include: a $925 million settlement involving managed care company UnitedHealth Group Inc. in 2008, a $225 million settlement involving communications company Comverse Technology Inc., and chip maker Broadcom Corp.'s $160 million settlement, both of which occurred last year.

RH Jones: Alliance for Retired Americans

From RH Jones, February 11, 2010

To all retired educators:
Click onto this and you may wish to become a member. It's an alliance of numerous groups with the common theme of being retired. It's working on HC Reform, also.
RHJones, retired teacher

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

NJ lawmakers introduce bills not too far removed from Ohio retirement systems' "wish lists" given to the ORSC

From John Curry, February 10, 2010
Will Ohio pols have the political courage of their NJ counterparts to introduce pension reform bills this year or......will they fear the election of 2010 and kick the pension reform can down the road? John
Lawmakers Unveil State Pension Reform Plan, February 10, 2010
TRENTON – Senators from both parties introduced legislation to reform New Jersey’s troubled pension system on Monday.
One bill would require state, local and school district employees to contribute at least 1.5 percent of their salary to their health benefit costs. Another would limit the amount of unused sick time that can be cashed in at retirement to $15,000.
A third bill would change the way that pensions are calculated to repeal a nine percent pension benefit increase that was implemented in 2001. The final bill would require the state to fully pay its contribution to the pension system each year instead of allowing deferrals. Enrollment in the state pension system would be limited to full-time workers, and benefits would be paid based on only one position. Pension payouts would be calculated based on the highest five years’ salary, instead of the highest three that are currently used.
No dollar figures were available to indicate how the reforms would affect the state pension system, which is currently underfunded by about $34 billion and is in danger of going broke.
Most of the measures would only affect new hires, but the bill requiring health care contributions would apply to all public workers when their current contracts expire.
These proposals were first made in 2006 after the Legislature held a special session to look for ways to lower New Jersey’s property taxes, which are the highest in the United States. Former Gov. Jon Corzine blocked most of the proposed pension reforms, arguing that they should be part of the collective bargaining process.
The state’s unions are opposed to the new measures.
“The changes proposed in these bills will do nothing to close budget gaps now or in next year’s budget,” Communications Workers of America spokesman Bob Master said in a statement. “All these bills would do is reduce the retirement and health care security of future New Jersey public workers.”
“NJEA is pleased that Trenton is finally paying attention to the condition of New Jersey’s public employee pension funds, but these legislative proposals will ultimately hurt our public schools, our students, and the people who educate them every day,” said New Jersey Education Association President Barbara Keshishian in a statement.
Lawmakers disagreed.
“Something must be done and fast, if we are to save the system from collapsing under the weight of its debt and failing to deliver on its promise to provide long-term security for people who have dedicated their lives to government work,” said Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), one of the sponsors of the bill to cap sick day payouts. “Pensions under attack? Quite the contrary.”
Gov. Chris Christie is supportive of efforts to fix the state’s pension system. A spokesman for the governor, Michael Drewniak, said Monday: “The Governor campaigned on pension and benefits reform. We look forward to seeing more details.” Only the summaries of the bills were available Monday.
Each of the Senate bills had at least 23 co-sponsors, so they should have no trouble winning the 21 votes required for passage. It was not clear when the Assembly would introduce its versions of the bills.
“One of my priorities has been to take a hard look at the unfinished property-tax-reform business, and I expect the Assembly Budget Committee will hold a hearing on these bills in the near future,” Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) said in a statement. “This is an important issue and it requires a thorough review.”

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Thousands of Utah public servants in Utah rally at the Capitol in Salt Lake City to protest potential changes in state retirement plan

From John Curry, February 9, 2010
February 6, 2010
(Click images to enlarge)
SALT LAKE CITY - It was a dramatic day at the Utah Capitol as thousands of public employees, policemen, and teachers rallied on the capitol lawn. They were protesting potential changes to the state retirement plan. About 4,000 people turned out for the rally.
state retirement system covers 182,000 current and former employees. The recession led to a 6.5 billion dollar shortfall with the system. Sen. Dan Liljenquist of Bountiful is proposing a set of retirement reform bills. "There are no reductions for current employees. We will meet 100-percent of our obligations," said Liljenquist.
With one proposed bill, employees hired after July 1st, 2011 would have to invest in a 401-k type program or put their money into a pension plan with greatly reduced benefits. Liljenquist said, "This is still a very rich retirement. It's two to four times larger than in any the private sector is offering." Teacher Stephanie Povey said, "Even though that might not affect me, it will affect the future teachers that are attracted to this profession. And it will really stop them from considering this as a career."
A second bill will stop payments to retired workers that have been re-hired. It's a prac
tice known as double-dipping where people collect both a paycheck and a pension. Liljenquist says the bill is important because, "The problem is that it's changing behavior. We're changing the pension system from a retirement system to a supplemental income system."
Many people at the rally accused Liljenquist of moving too quickly. They say the s
ystem doesn't need overhauling. "It's good. And Liljenquist's knee-jerk reaction to fixing it is not needed," said teacher Kate Cotterall. But Liljenquist says without action the state risks not meeting its current retirement obligations. "We need to make very careful steps, certainly, but to delay too long is to exacerbate the problem."
The retirement system changes are expected to go before a senate committee on Wednesday.

STRS Board meeting schedule for February, 2010

From STRS, February 9, 2010
The State Teachers Retirement Board and Committee meetings currently scheduled at the STRS Ohio offices, 275 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, are as follows:
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
....11 a.m. Disability Review Panel and Final Average Salary Committee (Executive Session)
Thursday, February 18, 2010
....9 a.m. Retirement Board Meeting
Friday, February 19, 2010
....9 a.m. Resumption of the Retirement Board Meeting
The Retirement Board meeting will come to order at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010, and begin with a report from the Member Benefits Dept. regarding pension benefits, followed by a report from the Investment Dept., Executive Director's Report, public participation and Long-Term Fiduciary and Financial Contingency Planning. The Retirement Board meeting will resume at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, and begin with a report from the Finance Dept., followed by a report from the Human Resource Services Dept., routine matters, old business, new business or any other matters requiring attention.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Oregon leaders shrug as pension crisis looms

From John Curry, February 8, 2010
Oregon leaders shrug as pension crisis looms

By The Oregonian Editorial Board

February 06, 2010, 8:48AM
The elephant in the room, the Oregon public pension system, is about to swallow an additional $1 billion-plus from school districts and other public employers over the next two years.

Members of the board that governs the Public Employees Retirement System warn this is only the beginning, that without a strong runup in the stock market, PERS could pull billions more out of the operating budgets of schools, state agencies and municipalities over the next two decades.

Yet there is no sense of urgency in Salem. On the contrary, when senators raised a PERS issue last week it was only to discuss the Democrats' desire to override a governor's veto and repass a bill requiring the system to pay retirees extra benefits mistakenly promised as a result of miscalculations. That won't cut PERS' costs -- it will increase them.

There is an astonishing silence and political passivity around the pension system, given how deeply it is projected to erode budgets for schools and other essential public services for years, even decades, to come.

The PERS board, which saw the pension fund suffer nearly $14 billion in losses in 2008, has tried to get the attention of state policymakers. When the board voted Jan. 28 to reduce the immediate hit on public employers, board member Brenda Rocklin, who is the CEO of SAIF, a workers' compensation fund, said she was tempted to pass along the full increase and require public employers to confront the steep and abrupt rise in costs. "Let's do the cliff," she said, before relenting, "because then people can start to get that there's a problem here."

When you press for answers, what you hear is that Gov. Ted Kulongoski and legislators did all they could -- and then some -- in 2003, when they passed a series of significant PERS reforms, some of which were later overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court.

Yes, the governor and Democratic lawmakers took important steps seven years ago to restrain the costs of PERS. Yes, the Democratic leaders of those reforms, Reps. Greg Macpherson of Lake Oswego and Tony Corcoran of Cottage Grove, paid for their leadership with their political careers. And yes, public employee unions never have been stronger or better financed in Oregon, and better prepared to defend retirement benefits.

All that is behind the conventional wisdom in Salem that PERS is politically and legally untouchable, and all Oregon can do is hope for high stock market returns, and prepare to carve billions out of public services if they do not materialize.

In fact, there are additional ways to strengthen the PERS fund. One possibility is to reduce the assumed earnings rate of the PERS fund, which has been established at 8 percent. The accounts of PERS beneficiaries are guaranteed by law to grow each year by no less than the assumed earnings rate.

Over the past 40 years, the PERS investment fund has enjoyed average earnings of about 10 percent; however, over the the past decade the earnings have averaged less than 5 percent. No one knows whether the last decade is the new normal for the stock market, or whether it will get back to the mostly go-go returns of the 1980s and 1990s. But if PERS holds to the 8 percent assumed earnings rate, and Oregon's investment returns fall short over time, PERS will bite deeper and deeper into public budgets.

Another possible reform would be the elimination of the law requiring a 6 percent contribution to individual PERS accounts. For almost four decades, most public employers have picked up the costs of the 6 percent contribution. If the statute were lifted, the contribution becomes a matter for collective bargaining, and strapped public employers could at least discuss the problem with their employees.

There are other possible reforms, including a potential buyout of high-cost retirees and a "reset" of PERS. However improbable these reforms look today, they will look much different if Oregon's public pension system is allowed to fall off the cliff.

The governor and Legislature should appoint a special commission to examine PERS, study possible reforms and recommend changes. If nothing is done, then four years, six years, eight years from now, Oregonians will look back at 2010 as the time its leaders could have acted to protect PERS retirees and essential services, but chose instead to look the other way.

Do you see your U.S. Representative listed as a cosponsor to eliminate the GPO/WEP?

From John Curry, February 08, 2010

The last email listed U.S. House members who were listed as sponsors and cosponsors of a bill (HR 235) to eliminate the GPO/WEP penalty against public servants in states who have state retirement systems. is HR 235's companion bill in the U.S. Senate (S484) and a listing of the sponsor and cosponsors of this bill to enable fairness to public service retirees. If your Senator (like Geogre Voinovich) is not listed, you might want to write them and ask why not! I'm sure George just forgot about you by accident...didn't he?

If not, you might want to ask them why they didn't lend their name to this list and go to bat for you and public servants in the states who have state retirement systems for public service employees! 314 Reps. did have the courage to cosponsor this bill...for that, they are to be commended. This listing is a bi-partisan listing as members from both sides of the aisle are on it.
P.S. Keep in mind that the current state of the economy will stall this bill until the economy gets "straightened out," but that is no reason that your Rep. can't be listed as a co-sponsor, is it? Why don't you write them and ask them....and then get ready for a real "song and dance" form letter. Ohio's Reps. are listed in red font below.
Title: To amend title II of the Social Security Act to repeal the Government pension offset and windfall elimination provisions.
Sponsor: Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] (introduced 1/7/2009) Cosponsors (314)
Related Bills:
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
COSPONSORS(314), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)

Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] - 2/24/2009 Rep Ackerman, Gary L. [NY-5] - 1/7/2009
Rep Adler, John H. [NJ-3] - 3/3/2009 Rep Alexander, Rodney [LA-5] - 1/13/2009
Rep Altmire, Jason [PA-4] - 1/9/2009 Rep Andrews, Robert E. [NJ-1] - 2/24/2009
Rep Arcuri, Michael A. [NY-24] - 4/27/2009 Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] - 1/7/2009
Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] - 7/31/2009 Rep Bachus, Spencer [AL-6] - 1/7/2009
Rep Baird, Brian [WA-3] - 6/4/2009 Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 3/9/2009
Rep Barrow, John [GA-12] - 6/11/2009 Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. [MD-6] - 3/9/2009
Rep Bean, Melissa L. [IL-8] - 5/7/2009 Rep Berkley, Shelley [NV-1] - 1/7/2009
Rep Berry, Marion [AR-1] - 4/30/2009 Rep Biggert, Judy [IL-13] - 1/7/2009
Rep Bilbray, Brian P. [CA-50] - 1/7/2009 Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-9] - 3/3/2009
Rep Bishop, Rob [UT-1] - 2/26/2009 Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] - 2/26/2009
Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] - 1/27/2009 Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] - 3/3/2009
Rep Blumenauer, Earl [OR-3] - 6/3/2009 Rep Blunt, Roy [MO-7] - 3/24/2009
Rep Boccieri, John A. [OH-16] - 3/31/2009 Rep Bono Mack, Mary [CA-45] - 1/27/2009
Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] - 3/9/2009 Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU] - 1/7/2009
Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] - 4/21/2009 Rep Boucher, Rick [VA-9] - 2/13/2009
Rep Boustany, Charles W., Jr. [LA-7] - 1/7/2009 Rep Brady, Robert A. [PA-1] - 4/21/2009
Rep Braley, Bruce L. [IA-1] - 3/9/2009 Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] - 1/7/2009
Rep Brown, Henry E., Jr. [SC-1] - 1/7/2009 Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny [FL-5] - 1/27/2009
Rep Buchanan, Vern [FL-13] - 6/3/2009 Rep Burgess, Michael C. [TX-26] - 5/19/2009
Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5] - 1/7/2009 Rep Calvert, Ken [CA-44] - 1/13/2009
Rep Capito, Shelley Moore [WV-2] - 5/20/2009 Rep Capps, Lois [CA-23] - 1/7/2009
Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-8] - 1/7/2009 Rep Cardoza, Dennis A. [CA-18] - 2/13/2009
Rep Carnahan, Russ [MO-3] - 1/7/2009 Rep Carney, Christopher P. [PA-10] - 1/7/2009
Rep Carson, Andre [IN-7] - 5/19/2009 Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] - 3/12/2009
Rep Cassidy, Bill [LA-6] - 7/31/2009 Rep Castor, Kathy [FL-11] - 9/8/2009
Rep Chandler, Ben [KY-6] - 1/7/2009 Rep Chu, Judy [CA-32] - 12/16/2009
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 5/13/2009 Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] - 3/31/2009
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 2/24/2009 Rep Conaway, K. Michael [TX-11] - 2/13/2009
Rep Connolly, Gerald E. "Gerry" [VA-11] - 4/2/2009 Rep Costa, Jim [CA-20] - 4/27/2009
Rep Costello, Jerry F. [IL-12] - 2/4/2009 Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] - 1/9/2009
Rep Cuellar, Henry [TX-28] - 1/7/2009 Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] - 5/21/2009
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 3/3/2009 Rep Davis, Geoff [KY-4] - 2/13/2009
Rep Davis, Lincoln [TN-4] - 2/26/2009 Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] - 3/9/2009
Rep Deal, Nathan [GA-9] - 1/27/2009 Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 4/21/2009
Rep DeGette, Diana [CO-1] - 1/7/2009 Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 1/9/2009
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3] - 1/7/2009 Rep Dent, Charles W. [PA-15] - 2/26/2009
Rep Dingell, John D. [MI-15] - 3/24/2009 Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] - 1/7/2009
Rep Donnelly, Joe [IN-2] - 3/17/2009 Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] - 3/9/2009
Rep Driehaus, Steve [OH-1] - 2/26/2009 Rep Duncan, John J., Jr. [TN-2] - 1/13/2009
Rep Edwards, Chet [TX-17] - 2/4/2009 Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] - 1/9/2009
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] - 7/15/2009 Rep Ellsworth, Brad [IN-8] - 3/12/2009
Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] - 1/7/2009 Rep Eshoo, Anna G. [CA-14] - 1/27/2009
Rep Fallin, Mary [OK-5] - 4/2/2009 Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 1/7/2009
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 1/7/2009 Rep Forbes, J. Randy [VA-4] - 1/7/2009
Rep Foster, Bill [IL-14] - 4/2/2009 Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5] - 1/22/2009
Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 2/10/2009 Rep Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. [NJ-11] - 1/15/2009
Rep Fudge, Marcia L. [OH-11] - 6/4/2009 Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] - 1/7/2009
Rep Garrett, Scott [NJ-5] - 2/26/2009 Rep Gerlach, Jim [PA-6] - 2/13/2009
Rep Giffords, Gabrielle [AZ-8] - 3/12/2009 Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11] - 9/29/2009
Rep Gohmert, Louie [TX-1] - 1/9/2009 Rep Gonzalez, Charles A. [TX-20] - 1/13/2009
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6] - 9/8/2009 Rep Gordon, Bart [TN-6] - 2/4/2009
Rep Graves, Sam [MO-6] - 6/3/2009 Rep Green, Al [TX-9] - 4/21/2009
Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] - 1/7/2009 Rep Griffith, Parker [AL-5] - 7/24/2009
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 1/7/2009 Rep Guthrie, Brett [KY-2] - 1/27/2009
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 6/3/2009 Rep Hall, John J. [NY-19] - 3/24/2009
Rep Hall, Ralph M. [TX-4] - 2/4/2009 Rep Halvorson, Deborah L. [IL-11] - 2/24/2009
Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17] - 3/3/2009 Rep Harman, Jane [CA-36] - 1/7/2009
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] - 3/9/2009 Rep Heinrich, Martin [NM-1] - 7/31/2009
Rep Heller, Dean [NV-2] - 1/7/2009 Rep Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie [SD] - 4/21/2009
Rep Higgins, Brian [NY-27] - 2/24/2009 Rep Hill, Baron P. [IN-9] - 1/13/2009
Rep Himes, James A. [CT-4] - 3/24/2009 Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 1/7/2009
Rep Hinojosa, Ruben [TX-15] - 3/31/2009 Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] - 1/7/2009
Rep Hodes, Paul W. [NH-2] - 6/8/2009 Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] - 1/22/2009
Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] - 1/7/2009 Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 1/7/2009
Rep Hunter, Duncan D. [CA-52] - 7/13/2009 Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] - 2/13/2009
Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] - 4/30/2009 Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 2/26/2009
Rep Jenkins, Lynn [KS-2] - 3/12/2009 Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 1/7/2009
Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [GA-4] - 1/7/2009 Rep Johnson, Timothy V. [IL-15] - 2/13/2009
Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] - 3/3/2009 Rep Kagen, Steve [WI-8] - 1/7/2009
Rep Kanjorski, Paul E. [PA-11] - 3/17/2009 Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 2/26/2009
Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] - 1/7/2009 Rep Kildee, Dale E. [MI-5] - 3/17/2009
Rep Kilroy, Mary Jo [OH-15] - 4/27/2009 Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] - 1/27/2009
Rep Kirk, Mark Steven [IL-10] - 1/9/2009 Rep Klein, Ron [FL-22] - 1/7/2009
Rep Kline, John [MN-2] - 3/12/2009 Rep Kratovil, Frank, Jr. [MD-1] - 6/8/2009
Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10] - 1/7/2009 Rep Lance, Leonard [NJ-7] - 3/3/2009
Rep Langevin, James R. [RI-2] - 1/7/2009 Rep Larsen, Rick [WA-2] - 3/31/2009
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] - 1/7/2009 Rep LaTourette, Steven C. [OH-14] - 1/15/2009
Rep Latta, Robert E. [OH-5] - 3/12/2009 Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 3/31/2009
Rep Lewis, Jerry [CA-41] - 1/13/2009 Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 1/7/2009
Rep Lipinski, Daniel [IL-3] - 1/15/2009 Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. [NJ-2] - 2/4/2009
Rep Loebsack, David [IA-2] - 6/8/2009 Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-16] - 1/7/2009
Rep Lowey, Nita M. [NY-18] - 3/17/2009 Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine [MO-9] - 6/3/2009
Rep Lujan, Ben Ray [NM-3] - 1/20/2010 Rep Lynch, Stephen F. [MA-9] - 2/26/2009
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] - 2/24/2009 Rep Manzullo, Donald A. [IL-16] - 1/27/2009
Rep Markey, Betsy [CO-4] - 9/29/2009 Rep Markey, Edward J. [MA-7] - 2/24/2009
Rep Marshall, Jim [GA-8] - 3/17/2009 Rep Massa, Eric J. J. [NY-29] - 3/17/2009
Rep Matheson, Jim [UT-2] - 1/7/2009 Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-5] - 2/4/2009
Rep McCarthy, Carolyn [NY-4] - 2/24/2009 Rep McCarthy, Kevin [CA-22] - 4/21/2009
Rep McCaul, Michael T. [TX-10] - 1/7/2009 Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] - 1/7/2009
Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11] - 1/7/2009 Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 3/12/2009
Rep McHugh, John M. [NY-23] - 1/9/2009 Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] - 3/9/2009
Rep McKeon, Howard P. "Buck" [CA-25] - 1/7/2009 Rep McMahon, Michael E. [NY-13] - 4/30/2009
Rep McNerney, Jerry [CA-11] - 1/22/2009 Rep Meek, Kendrick B. [FL-17] - 5/7/2009
Rep Melancon, Charlie [LA-3] - 1/7/2009 Rep Mica, John L. [FL-7] - 3/24/2009
Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] - 1/7/2009 Rep Miller, Brad [NC-13] - 2/13/2009
Rep Miller, Candice S. [MI-10] - 2/10/2009 Rep Miller, Gary G. [CA-42] - 2/4/2009
Rep Miller, George [CA-7] - 1/7/2009 Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] - 11/6/2009
Rep Minnick, Walter [ID-1] - 4/2/2009 Rep Mitchell, Harry E. [AZ-5] - 3/31/2009
Rep Mollohan, Alan B. [WV-1] - 5/5/2009 Rep Moore, Dennis [KS-3] - 1/7/2009
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 1/27/2009 Rep Moran, Jerry [KS-1] - 1/13/2009
Rep Murphy, Christopher S. [CT-5] - 1/7/2009 Rep Murphy, Patrick J. [PA-8] - 1/7/2009
Rep Murphy, Scott [NY-20] - 6/11/2009 Rep Murphy, Tim [PA-18] - 3/9/2009
Rep Murtha, John P. [PA-12] - 2/26/2009 Rep Myrick, Sue Wilkins [NC-9] - 4/2/2009
Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] - 1/15/2009 Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-38] - 2/26/2009
Rep Neal, Richard E. [MA-2] - 2/24/2009 Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19] - 1/13/2009
Rep Nye, Glenn C., III [VA-2] - 3/24/2009 Rep Oberstar, James L. [MN-8] - 1/27/2009
Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 2/10/2009 Rep Ortiz, Solomon P. [TX-27] - 1/7/2009
Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. [NJ-6] - 1/7/2009 Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [NJ-8] - 1/15/2009
Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] - 2/10/2009 Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] - 1/7/2009
Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 3/3/2009 Rep Peters, Gary C. [MI-9] - 7/20/2009
Rep Peterson, Collin C. [MN-7] - 3/17/2009 Rep Petri, Thomas E. [WI-6] - 1/7/2009
Rep Pierluisi, Pedro R. [PR] - 11/3/2009 Rep Pingree, Chellie [ME-1] - 2/10/2009
Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19] - 3/9/2009 Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] - 2/4/2009
Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] - 3/31/2009 Rep Price, David E. [NC-4] - 1/13/2009
Rep Quigley, Mike [IL-5] - 5/5/2009 Rep Radanovich, George [CA-19] - 3/9/2009
Rep Rahall, Nick J., II [WV-3] - 1/22/2009 Rep Reyes, Silvestre [TX-16] - 1/7/2009
Rep Richardson, Laura [CA-37] - 1/15/2009 Rep Rodriguez, Ciro D. [TX-23] - 1/7/2009
Rep Roe, David P. [TN-1] - 2/4/2009 Rep Rogers, Harold [KY-5] - 1/15/2009
Rep Rogers, Mike D. [AL-3] - 1/15/2009 Rep Rooney, Thomas J. [FL-16] - 4/27/2009
Rep Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18] - 3/12/2009 Rep Roskam, Peter J. [IL-6] - 2/4/2009
Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] - 2/26/2009 Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] - 1/7/2009
Rep Roybal-Allard, Lucille [CA-34] - 3/3/2009 Rep Royce, Edward R. [CA-40] - 1/27/2009
Rep Ruppersberger, C. A. Dutch [MD-2] - 1/7/2009 Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] - 5/19/2009
Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17] - 2/4/2009 Rep Sablan, Gregorio [MP] - 3/3/2009
Rep Salazar, John T. [CO-3] - 2/26/2009 Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] - 1/7/2009
Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-47] - 1/15/2009 Rep Sarbanes, John P. [MD-3] - 2/10/2009
Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] - 2/10/2009 Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 1/7/2009
Rep Schauer, Mark H. [MI-7] - 5/20/2009 Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] - 1/7/2009
Rep Schmidt, Jean [OH-2] - 1/27/2009 Rep Schock, Aaron [IL-18] - 1/22/2009
Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [PA-13] - 1/7/2009 Rep Scott, David [GA-13] - 3/3/2009
Rep Scott, Robert C. "Bobby" [VA-3] - 12/1/2009 Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 1/27/2009
Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] - 1/22/2009 Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] - 1/7/2009
Rep Shimkus, John [IL-19] - 1/13/2009 Rep Shuster, Bill [PA-9] - 3/17/2009
Rep Simpson, Michael K. [ID-2] - 2/24/2009 Rep Sires, Albio [NJ-13] - 1/7/2009
Rep Skelton, Ike [MO-4] - 2/4/2009 Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [NY-28] - 3/17/2009
Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] - 2/4/2009 Rep Souder, Mark E. [IN-3] - 1/27/2009
Rep Space, Zachary T. [OH-18] - 1/7/2009 Rep Speier, Jackie [CA-12] - 4/21/2009
Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] - 1/7/2009 Rep Stupak, Bart [MI-1] - 1/15/2009
Rep Sullivan, John [OK-1] - 2/13/2009 Rep Sutton, Betty [OH-13] - 1/7/2009
Rep Tauscher, Ellen O. [CA-10] - 1/7/2009 Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] - 2/10/2009
Rep Thompson, Glenn [PA-5] - 9/10/2009 Rep Thompson, Mike [CA-1] - 1/13/2009
Rep Tiahrt, Todd [KS-4] - 3/12/2009 Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12] - 1/22/2009
Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6] - 1/7/2009 Rep Titus, Dina [NV-3] - 3/9/2009
Rep Tonko, Paul D. [NY-21] - 6/26/2009 Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-5] - 3/24/2009
Rep Turner, Michael R. [OH-3] - 2/24/2009 Rep Upton, Fred [MI-6] - 3/17/2009
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] - 1/7/2009 Rep Velazquez, Nydia M. [NY-12] - 10/21/2009
Rep Visclosky, Peter J. [IN-1] - 1/7/2009 Rep Walden, Greg [OR-2] - 7/15/2009
Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] - 2/13/2009 Rep Wamp, Zach [TN-3] - 3/3/2009
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] - 2/4/2009 Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] - 4/2/2009
Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-30] - 1/7/2009 Rep Welch, Peter [VT] - 1/7/2009
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [GA-3] - 1/22/2009 Rep Wexler, Robert [FL-19] - 1/22/2009
Rep Whitfield, Ed [KY-1] - 1/13/2009 Rep Wilson, Charles A. [OH-6] - 2/4/2009
Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] - 1/7/2009 Rep Wittman, Robert J. [VA-1] - 2/24/2009
Rep Wolf, Frank R. [VA-10] - 2/26/2009 Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 1/7/2009
Rep Wu, David [OR-1] - 1/7/2009 Rep Yarmuth, John A. [KY-3] - 1/15/2009
Rep Young, C.W. Bill [FL-10] - 1/7/2009 Rep Young, Don [AK] - 2/10/2009

Title: A bill to amend title II of the Social Security Act to repeal the Government pension offset and windfall elimination provisions.
Sponsor: Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] (introduced 2/25/2009) Cosponsors (30)
Related Bills: H.R.235
Latest Major Action: 2/25/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
COSPONSORS(30), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)

Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] - 3/12/2009 Sen Begich, Mark [AK] - 4/2/2009
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 2/25/2009 Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 2/25/2009
Sen Burris, Roland [IL] - 5/14/2009 Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] - 9/15/2009
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 2/25/2009 Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 3/18/2009
Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] - 2/25/2009 Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] - 3/2/2009
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 2/25/2009 Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [HI] - 10/8/2009
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 3/5/2009 Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA] - 3/16/2009
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 2/25/2009 Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] - 5/21/2009
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 3/4/2009 Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] - 4/20/2009
Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] - 2/25/2009 Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] - 2/25/2009
Sen Murkowski, Lisa [AK] - 4/20/2009 Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] - 2/25/2009
Sen Reed, Jack [RI] - 5/13/2009 Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 3/26/2009
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 3/4/2009 Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] - 6/8/2009
Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] - 4/30/2009 Sen Udall, Tom [NM] - 5/14/2009
Sen Vitter, David [LA] - 3/10/2009 Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] - 2/25/2009

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