SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers looking to cut public-employee pension benefits face a difficult political and legal balance
Lawyers have come to different conclusions about whether cost-of-living increases can be limited without running afoul of a 2005 Oregon Supreme Court case.
An attorney for the state Department of Justice has argued that the Supreme Court decision may allow the Legislature to cut the amount of a cost-of-living adjustment, as long as all retirees get an increase of some size. He also argues that justices may be persuaded to overturn the court's 2005 ruling.
A former Supreme Court justice who sided with the majority in that case now says the state might have some success with that argument. Michael Gillette made that argument in a memo to the League of Oregon Cities last week.