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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Kenneth Corn
Democratic Caucus Chairman
Senate District 4
Le Flore and Sequoyah Counties

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2007

Senator Kenneth Corn   
Senator Kenneth Corn


Corn Offers Plan to Shore Up Teacher’s Retirement System

 

Veteran State Senator Kenneth Corn, has filed a series of bills aimed at shoring up Oklahoma’s Teachers Retirement System (OTRS). He said OTRS, the retirement system for Oklahoma’s retired educators, is in serious need of an overhaul to save the future of the system and protect the financial future of thousands of Oklahoma teachers.


“Oklahoma’s teachers are the best in the nation,” Corn said. “They deserve to know when they invest their money into a state retirement account, that money will still be available for them when they leave the classroom.”


Corn, a Democrat from Poteau, said two measures he authored this session will help prop up the broken system and begin to repair the damage associated with the close to $7 billion of unfunded liabilities of OTRS. Senate Bill 1105 will direct a portion of the insurance premium tax into OTRS and Senate Bill 672 will study the feasibility of the state transferring vacant properties in the Lincoln Boulevard Renaissance Project to the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma.


“The unfunded liability associated with OTRS is hurting not only the teachers paying into the system, but also the taxpayers of this state,” Corn said. “We have a moral obligation to ensure we are being good stewards of the money we get from hard working Oklahomans and until we do something to fix OTRS we are not fully meeting that obligation.”


Another proposal by Corn would hold OTRS harmless should any tax cuts be passed that adversely affect the system. Corn explained any revenue and taxation bills that reduce state sales or income tax rates directly affect OTRS, and under his proposal if those tax cut measures become law, future legislatures must appropriate money from the general revenue fund into OTRS the following year to repay any lost revenue out of OTRS.


“Cutting taxes is something that must be done responsibly,” Corn said. “My proposal would ensure that when the legislature cuts taxes in the future, funding for OTRS will not be harmed in any way.”
Corn said he believes there will be bi-partisan support for his proposals and wants to work with other lawmakers to make it a top priority this legislative session.


“We have an opportunity this session to work together to right a wrong left to us from past legislatures,” Corn said. “If we don’t take the opportunity to find common ground on this issue we have failed the people who sent us here to be their voice.”

For more information contact:
Senator Corn's Office - (405) 521-5576

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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