For Immediate Release: April 26, 2007
Senate Leaders Praise Bipartisan Agreement
on Teacher Retirement System
The bipartisan leadership of the Oklahoma Senate
praised the passage of Senate Bill 357 by the House of Representatives,
part of a bipartisan legislative agreement that will pump more
than $200 million over the next five years into the fiscally-troubled
Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System (TRS). When fully implemented
in 2010, the plan will infuse $60 million a year into the TRS.
“In conjunction with last year’s reforms,
Senate Bill 357 represents a strong, bipartisan effort to put
the ailing TRS on firm financial footing, thereby averting a
future financial crisis,” stated Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa,
co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
“One of the key elements of this agreement
is a provision that will hold the Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement
System harmless if state revenues are reduced in the future.
By making certain that a reduction in state revenue won’t
impact the system, Senate Bill 357 will ensure the future viability
of OTRS,” said Senator Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau.
“The Senate has worked very hard to make
the Teacher Retirement System a top priority in the 2007 legislative
session. This agreement shows that bipartisan cooperation is
still working in the Oklahoma Legislature,” stated Sen.
Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher, co-chairman of the Senate Appropriations
“Finding a workable solution that will,
over time, considerably reduce the unfunded liability in the
Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System has long been one of my
top priorities. Senator Johnson and I committed to each other
early in the session that we would not leave here until we had
done something about teachers’ retirement. I am pleased
the House leadership has agreed to join us and I think the measure
passed today will provide stability to the system as well as
protecting state’s bond rating,” said Senator Johnnie
Crutchfield, D-Ardmore, co-chair of the Senate Appropriations
For more information contact:
Senator Mazzei's Office: (405) 521-5675
Senator Johnson's Office: (405) 521-5592
Senator Corn's Office: (405) 521-5576
Senator Crutchfield's Office: (405) 521-5607