Today’s post was written by Bridget Early, NPPC’s Executive Director.
NPPC has worked hard this year to ensure public employee pensions are protected. NPPC’s coalitions across the country were successful in passing COLA legislation for retired public employees, shored up pension funds, and started the conversation for next year’s legislative sessions. Although 2019 isn’t over yet, we are committed to continuing our work into next year.
Last week, we published a state coalition analysis that discusses these important victories.
For the first time in over a decade, lawmakers passed “13th check” legislation for retired Texas teachers and a COLA for retired public employees in New Hampshire. These inflation adjustments are crucial for retired public employees who have seen the cost of groceries, housing, and other life essentials increase in cost, while they’ve been left behind for years by lawmakers. In Wyoming and Oklahoma, our coalitions started the conversation with lawmakers to ensure that during next year’s legislative session, lawmakers vote to provide a COLA to retired public employees.
In Colorado, NPPC’s coalition, Secure PERA, worked with the legislature to pass HB1217, which eliminated the phased-in 2 percent increase in member contributions to PERA for local government employees, an outcome from last year’s SB 200.
Also, in Kansas and Louisiana, lawmakers made extra payments into KPERS and LASERS to shore up their pension funds. In Kansas specifically, this was much needed due to the former Brownback Administration skipping and partially paying into KPERS in order to pay for the disastrous tax cuts lawmakers had implemented.
Looking to next year, NPPC will focus on protecting public employees’ hard-earned pensions, while working with our state coalitions to pass proactive measures that will boost local economies and make sure public employee retirees can live in dignity. If you want to keep up with all of the good work our state coalitions are doing for public employees and retirees, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or sign up for our blog.