OPEA would like to thank you, our members, for responding to our call to action.
On Wednesday, House Joint Resolution 1027, by Rep. Randy McDaniel, was heard in committee. It would send a state question to a vote of the people to establish recent changes to the state’s pension system in the Oklahoma Constitution. OPEA was concerned that the Constitutional amendment might require that cost-of-living-adjustments could only come from legislative appropriations and not from investments made by the system.
Wednesday morning, OPEA sent out a legislative call to action on its website, Facebook account, Twitter page and email list, stating that a Constitutional amendment isn’t necessary to the process and that keeping the recent changes in statute would provide legislators more options in allowing adjustments to retirees.
The response from our membership was overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that the House Economic Development and Finance Committee agreed to strike the title – a procedural move that allows legislators to re-work and re-word a bill to fix any issues in the measure. Essentially, the agreement was made because of the contacts made to the Capitol by OPEA members.
“We appreciate Speaker Shannon, Speaker Pro Tem Jackson Chairman McDaniel working together and deciding to strike title on the bill until its ramifications can be further analyzed,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley.
The bill passed out of committee, 11-3. That allowed the measure to advance to the next stage and be re-worked before reaching a full vote on the House floor later in the legislative session.
OPEA would like to thank you for the great response on this matter. Protecting the pension system for all of our state’s employees is vital, whether you’re retired or still working. We believe the events of Wednesday will help protect the system and keep it viable moving forward.