By Tony DeSha and Chancen Flick
We understand that some of you are unable to attend Retiree Day at the Capitol tomorrow, March 29, 2023. Fortunately, you can still help advocate for retirees by making a few phone calls! Please use the instructions below if you would like to help advance priority legislation that will help our retired OPEA members.
How to Advocate by Phone?
Call your state Senator, Retirement Committee members, and Senate Pro Tempore Greg Treat’s office (Committee members and Pro Temp Treat’s numbers are listed below). If you don’t know your state Senator click here to find their contact information!
President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (405) 521-5632
Montgomery, John (405) 521-5567
Jett, Shane (405) 521-5539
Brooks, Michael (405) 521-5557
Coleman, Bill (405) 521-5581
Dugger, Tom (405) 521-5572
Garvin, Jessica (405) 521-5522
Hamilton, Warren (405) 521-5604
Matthews, Kevin (405) 521-5598
Prieto, Dana (405) 521-5566
Woods, Tom (405) 521-5576
What do I say when I call?
“Hello Senator ______, My name is _______ and I would like to talk to you about a couple bills impacting retirees. These bills will be heard in the Senate Retirement & Insurance Committee, they are House Bill 2020, House Bill 2171 and House Bill 2854.”
“I Urge you help get the bills heard and passed out of committee. Also, I ask you to work with senate leadership to help get these bills heard and passed off the senate floor.”
What bills are we asking to be passed in committee & off the Senate Floor?
HB 2020 – Authored by Rep. Max Wolfley & Senator John Montgomery
Currently, retirees are exempt on the first $10,000 receive in income benefits. This legislation will increase that limit to the first $20,000. This will be the first increase since 2006. HB 2020 will allow retired public employees to have access to more expendable income to face the ever-increasing cost of living on a fixed income.
HB 2171– Authored by Rep. Ross Ford & Senator Paul Rosino
Grant a one-time benefit distribution to public retirees based upon their current monthly benefit with a minimum payment of $1,500 and a maximum of $3,200. To qualify for the benefit an employee must have been retired for 2+ years. This is necessary due to inflation increasing the cost of living.
HB 2854 – Authored by Rep. Kevin Wallace & Senator Roger Thompson
Return Oklahoma State employees to the defined benefit OPERS system & terminate the state employee defined contribution system “Pathfinder”. Allows employees to purchase years of service credits. We believe by allowing new employees to participate in the defined benefit plan, the state will be better positioned to recruit & retain qualified employees.