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Carrying the Pension Cuts

In the 2019 Legislative Session, Paul Holvey carried SB 1049 through the State House, which slashed public employee pensions.

Despite a Legislative Counsel analysis warning that the actions in the proposed bill "could be a very complicated and controversial problem," Holvey pressed on anyway. (Notably, Holvey would later use the excuse that he couldn't pass a bill for which Legislative Counsel had urged caution in explaining why he chose to kill HB 3183.) He rallied his colleagues by saying "I stand before you today in support of SB 1049-A, because I believe it's a necessary thing to do" and repeatedly classifying the measure as "cost containment," but hinting at even more work ahead by acknowledging that "we think it will not solve the problem". In fact it will create many problems for working families, with many public employees seeing cuts in their Individual Accounts from 7-12%.

But Holvey made sure to protect the Legislature's own sweetheart pension deal just for lawmakers... they can still "double dip" and draw a PERS pension while at the same time racking up a second PERS pension. Seems like Rep. Holvey's idea of "necessary cost containment" means making working families pony up to fill the budget hole while he and his friends are able to max out their benefits. (The reference to that ability is ORS 238.092) (Meanwhile, there was no talk of cutting any payments on $240,000,000 worth of appropriation credits that were being paid to Wall Street investors, even though those credits were unsecured by any pledge by the State.) It seems that when the state needs money, Paul Holvey will squeeze working Oregonians as hard as possible, but keep out-of-state investors safe from losses.



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