After Tight Vote, Pension Reform Bill Headed to Governor

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon House has narrowly sent the governor a proposal to contain rising pension costs by trimming public employee retirement benefits.

The House initially voted down the proposal Thursday 31-29 with all Republicans voting against. But after recessing for over half an hour, leaders were able to convince two Democrats to switch their vote and send the measure to Gov. Kate Brown.

The measure aims to stem some of the rising costs public employers will face starting in 2021. It refinances the public pension debt and redirects a portion of employee salary toward the Public Employee Retirement System, or PERS.

Union leaders say they’re prepared to take the state to court over the proposed reduction in employee benefits.

The governor has indicated she will sign the measure.

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