Grappling with Oregon’s $22 billion public pension debt has always involved difficult tradeoffs — such as cutting pensions or pouring more tax money into shoring up the system.
But a former union leader and an eastern Oregon school official are working on an idea they say could actually be a win-win for both workers and taxpayers. It’s far from a cure-all. But officials have long said there’s no single solution to the financial problems of the Public Employees Retirement System, often known as PERS.
“This is a concept that we’re kind of excited about,” said Mark Mulvihill, superintendent of the InterMountain Education Service District in Pendleton, “and it’s gaining a little bit of momentum because of its pragmatism.”
Mulvihill and Tim Nesbitt – the former Oregon AFL-CIO president who is now a consultant for the Oregon Business Council – presented their proposal at the Oregon Leadership Summit on Monday.