PUBLIC HEARING & WORK SESSION

HB 2257

PUBLIC HEARING HB 2521, HB 3441

 

TAPES 94 A

 

HOUSE REVENUE COMMITTEE

MARCH 30, 2005   1:00 PM   STATE CAPITOL BUILDING

 

Members Present:                      Tom Butler, Chair

                                                Rep. Vicki Berger, Chair

                                                Rep. Mark Hass, Vice-Chair

                                                Rep. Brian Boquist

                                                Rep. Sal Esquivel

                                                Rep. Larry Galizio

                                                Rep. Betty Komp

                                                Rep. Andy Olson

                                                Rep. Chuck Riley

                       

 

Witnesses Present:                      Sam Adams, Commissioner, City of Portland

                                                Marge Kafoury, Govt. Relations, City of Portland

                                                Michelle Deister, League of Oregon Cities

 

 

Staff Present:                          Lizbeth Martin-Mahar, Economist

                                                Kristi Bowman, Committee Assistant

                                               

 

TAPE 94, SIDE A

002

Chair Butler

Calls meeting to order at 1:05 p.m.

 

 

 

OPENS PUBLIC HEARING FOR HOUSE BILL 3441

 

 

 

024

Sam Adams

Submits Fact Sheet handout in support of HB 3441 (Exhibit 1).  Explains the different budget committee processes in the City of Portland versus other municipalities.

 

 

 

045

Chair Butler

Asks if other entities such as the League of Oregon Cities or the Assn. of Oregon Counties would be commenting on this bill.

 

 

 

048

Adams

Responds that this bill only affects the City of Portland and potentially community colleges.

 

 

 

053

Rep. Berger

Comments that there is a unique budget process in Multnomah County affecting municipal employees. HB 3441 allows the county to change their budget committee process, but does not mandate it.

 

 

 

062

Adams

Adds that the 1963 legislation only affected Multnomah County.  HB 3441 would allow Mt. Hood Community College, Portland Community College, and the City of Portland the option of adding citizens to their budget committees.

 

 

 

CLOSES PUBLIC HEARING FOR HOUSE BILL 3441

 

 

 

OPENS PUBLIC HEARING FOR HOUSE BILL 2257

 

 

 

097

Lizbeth Martin-Mahar

Explains that this bill corrects technical changes in the statute pertaining to bonds.

 

 

 

116

Rep. Boquist

Expresses concern about the wording change proposed between “shall” and “may” in line 9 of the bill. Comments that he would like to have someone from Legislative Counsel explain the wording change.

 

 

 

CLOSES PUBLIC HEARING FOR HOUSE BILL 2257

 

 

 

OPENS PUBLIC HEARING FOR HOUSE BILL 2251

 

 

 

134

Martin-Mahar

Gives overview of HB 2521 (Exhibit 2). Refers to Issue Brief (Exhibit 3) that gives a detailed chronology of legislation pertaining to public sector retirement income and taxation. Adds that in current law, local government plans must be equal to or better than the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) benefits.

 

 

 

174

Chair Butler

Asks how many plans are affected.

 

 

 

185

Michelle Deister

Responds that there are 240 cities in Oregon, and 170 are members of PERS. There 7 cities with “equal to or better than” (ETOB) plans for fire and police employees. There are some cities so small (one full-time or part-time employee) that do not offer any kind of pension plan. Will provide revenue impact information to Martin-Mahar.

 

 

 

214

Marge Kafoury

Testifies in support HB 2521. It puts the City of Portland’s fire and police employee pensions on par with PERS in that both will be exempt from Oregon income tax in accordance with previous legislation affecting pubic sector pensions.

 

 

 

223

Chair Butler

Comments about previous lawsuits filed on behalf of other public employees who were being treated differently on their pension benefits. Asks if there are current pending lawsuits from affected public sector groups.

 

 

 

235

Deister

Responds that she believes that HB 2521 is linked to legislation following passage of HB 3349 enacted in 1995.

 

 

 

250

Chair Butler

General comments about previous pension legislation. Recommends seeking counsel from the attorney general’s office on this bill.

 

 

 

274

Rep. Riley

Comments about the language “equal to or better than PERS.” Asks about employees who are not at the same level as PERS employees.

 

 

 

276

Kafoury

Responds that the statute was amended many years ago requiring fire and police non-PERS employee benefit plans to be equal to or

 

better than those of PERS employees. There are periodic reviews done to compare PERS and non-PERS pension plans.

 

300

Deister

Adds that some local governments are so small that they can only offer their employees other non-PERS plans. Whether they are more or less equal to PERS depends on “who you ask.”

 

 

 

309

Rep. Berger

Comments that the situation regarding federal employees may be a different issue than the issues addressed in HB 2521. Recommends seeking more information on this issue.

 

 

 

330

Chair Butler

Agrees with Rep. Berger and requests more information on this bill.

 

 

 

CLOSES PUBLIC HEARING FOR HB 2521

 

 

 

360

Chair Butler

Adjourns meeting at 1:28 p.m.

 

 

Tape Log Submitted by:

Reviewed by:

 

 

 

Kristi Bowman, Committee Assistant

Kim Taylor James, Committee Coordinator

 

Exhibit Summary:

  1. 1.      HB 3441, Handout: Fact Sheet, Adams, 1 pg., 03/30/05
  2. 2.      HB 2521, Staff Measure Summary, Martin-Mahar, 1 pg., 03/30/05
  3. 3.      HB 2521, Issue Brief, Filsinger, 4 pp., 01/2000
  4. 4.      HB 2521, Research Brief, Legislative Revenue Office, 2 pp., 09/2001