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What Broke PERS, And What Might Fix It


The name is only four letters long, but the issues with it can take volumes to explain.  PERS, Oregon's Public Employee Retirement System, has billions of dollars on hand to pay to retired public workers. 

The trouble is that there's a gap between what it will need to pay workers in the future, and the projections for its income.  The gap is more than $26 Billion, and closing the gap requires ever-larger payments into the system by state and local governments. 

Former Oregon AFL-CIO president Tim Nesbitt and his former boss, Governor Ted Kulongoski, have proposed a pair of ballot measures to bring PERS into line.  Their organization is PERS Solutions for Public Services.  Tim Nesbitt joins us to explore the measures, PERS director Kevin Olineck will give the view from the agency; we are also joined by national pension expert Ted Siedle.  


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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.