Measure No. 29

Argument in Opposition



During a severe spending crisis, do we want to give politicians a new credit card to pay off Oregon's PERS debt? A card that will take a generation to pay off and and will only be paid with new taxes? A card with a balance that can increase along with your property values - All to ensure that Oregon's public employees enjoy a retirement plan that's probably better than the one you have? That's what Ballot Measure 29 does.


Measure 29 is a new tax. Supporters say it will save money by refinancing some of the state's PERS debt at lower interest rates. But the legislature will simply squander any savings realized, leaving you and your children holding the bag for billions of dollars. Where will this money come from? Answer: NEW TAXES, money you could have put toward your own retirement. Higher taxes will also make it harder to build future support for schools, the elderly and public safety. Low interest rates are simply the bait used in this clever tax trap ­ Don't be fooled.


State spending is growing at an unsustainable rate, faster than personal income. Little accountability exists - There are no outside audits of most state agencies, no formalized systems of zero-based budgeting and no systematic cost controls. Meanwhile, state assets like the SAIF corporation could be sold to retire billions in debt. PERS itself could be terminated for current workers and replaced with 401k-style plans, like the ones many Oregonians already have. Through spending reform, we can use savings to retire Oregon's PERS debt over time. Don't mortgage your children's future. Vote NO on Measure 29.

Force legislators to institute spending reform NOW.
Don't give them a new credit card!

(This information furnished by Richard P. Burke, Libertarian Party of Oregon.)

Argument in Opposition

    The PERS is bankrupting our state, forcing school closures, causing loss of care for the mentally and physical impaired and driving business elsewhere.

    The Oregon Public Employees Union created this scheme, the PERS retirement system, whereby all persons who could control it, the Governor, the Legislators and Judges are members. PERS has created a chasm in this state between "they, who receive it" and "us, who pay for it".

    With some 260,000+ members and control of our governments, PERS is a formidable political force making it impossible for real reform. In 1994, the voters passed Measure No. 8, which would have limited the PERS pensions. The Oregon Public Employees Union challenged the people's vote in the State Supreme Court. The court and the Attorney General, representing the voters, were all members of PERS. It is little wonder, that the we lost.

    PERS pensions running as high as 130% of salary, annual increases, subsidized health and dental insurance making it one of the most expensive pensions in the nation. Some of the PERS members are retiring at an early age, then rehired back to their old job, thereby taking jobs way from people, who are in real need.

    Recently our school district with others issued 1.8 billion in PERS debt bonds without a notice, hearing or vote. Measure 29 is asking you to approve an additional 2 to 5 billion more in PERS debt bonds. All this just to put another band-aid on the PERS hemorrhaging financial condition.

    Our government's betrayal and lack of empathy towards its citizen has to be stopped. By voting NO! on Measure 29, you can start the process.

P.S. PERS pensions are state tax exempt and will not be paying their fair share of this bond.

(This information furnished by J.F. "Mac" Macdonald.)

Explanatory Statement

Legislative Argument in Support

Arguments in Favor

Table of Contents

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722
Phone: (503) 986-1523 • Fax: (503) 986-1616 • oregon.sos@state.or.us

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