Oregon Politics: The PERS battle explained; The Northwest’s growing clout in Congress

By Jeff Mapes, Oregon Live

The Oregonian’s Ted Sickinger on Sunday kicked off a three-part series on Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System, and one thing is clear: the legislative battle over reducing the system’s costs will be intense.

Because of high costs and the the collapse of the financial markets four years ago, PERS is putting a bigger squeeze on funding for schools and other programs, leading Gov. John Kitzhaber to propose a series of changes to the system.  With Democrats now in charge of the Legislature, they have the tricky task of maneuvering between their union allies — who would prefer no change at all — and the growing pressure to find major cost savings.


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