Oregon Incomes Still 9% Below National Average
The gap between Oregon incomes and Washington incomes widens
We believe this is the defining issue in our state.
2013 Five Pillars of Prosperity for Oregon
Four state issues and one national issue for greater prosperity.
We believe the Oregon legislature will advance the prosperity of our state – our entire state – if it focuses on these key issues this year.
More PERS Reform is a Must
In March we showed you this graph.
What it demonstrates is that Oregon's public pension system (PERS) is a greater burden for our state's economy than government pension systems in neighboring states with similar pension liabilities. We don’t have the jobs, the economic activity, or the income here in Oregon to simply brush this issue aside.
Where Washington and Colorado have larger economies that can deal with their pension liabilities without laying off teachers and cutting school days, Oregon cannot. We have to fix the problem head on.
The Governor just signed into law SB 822 – the “PERS lite” reform – which seeks to lower PERS costs by lowering cost-of-living adjustments and allowing government to simply delay $350 million in PERS payments.
Is the problem fixed?
Even with SB 822, Oregon schools will still see $639 million in PERS rate hikes over the next six years – the equivalent of another 3,013 teachers lost.
Increased PERS rates for school districts with SB 822 and $350M delayed payment
Source: Payroll rates from Oregon PERS Board analysis of SB 822 and rate collar
Even with SB 822, Oregon’s pension rates will still be twice as high as Washington’s, increasing to nearly five times higher than Washington’s in 15 years.
Lowering Oregon’s PERS rates down to Washington’s level is what it will take to hire 3,000 additional teachers today, and as many as 5,500 new teachers by 2025.
Lowering Oregon’s PERS rates down to Washington’s level would yield enough money to restore a minimum of 15 school days, and up to 25 days in 2025.