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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: March 13, 2007

Senator Kenneth Corn
Senator Kenneth Corn

Senators Block Amendment to Protect Teachers Retirement System from Tax Cuts

State Sen. Kenneth Corn said an amendment to ensure the Teachers Retirement System of Oklahoma (TRS) would be protected from the impact of tax cuts has been blocked by a majority of the Senate.   Corn said the language was crucial considering the numerous tax cuts being considered by the Legislature.

“Right now it would take about $7 billion dollars to fix the Teachers Retirement System.  That’s about the equivalent of an entire year’s state budget for every entity we fund,” said Corn, D-Poteau.  “Obviously we can’t do it all at once.  But we’ll never get there if we don’t hold harmless the revenues that are earmarked for TRS.”

Corn said that currently TRS is facing a loss of more than $57 million dollars over a four year period due to previously passed income tax cuts.

“I have supported some of those tax cuts, but it is critical that we shield TRS from the impact of these reductions so that we can protect the pensions of thousands of educators,” Corn said.

He said additional tax cuts, including a proposed sales tax holiday, would further erode funds dedicated to the system.  Corn had attempted to place his amendment in Senate bill 861, the sales tax holiday bill, but that amendment was tabled.

“I don’t understand how any member of the Senate can say they’re for fixing the teacher’s retirement system, but then the majority of them turn around and block efforts to shield it from these tax cuts,” Corn said.  “If we are serious about making TRS whole, then we need to use every tool available to do so—that’s exactly what I was attempting to do with my amendment.”

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

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