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

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For Immediate Release: May 7, 2007

Senators Applaud Gov. for Signing Teacher’s Retirement Bill

Two of the principal architects of a measure to strengthen the Teacher’s Retirement System of Oklahoma (TRS) praised Gov. Brad Henry for his support of Senate Bill 357. Sen. Kenneth Corn, D- Poteau, and Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, joined the governor for a signing ceremony at the State Capitol on Monday.

“This is great progress for the Teacher’s Retirement System. It’s been woefully under-funded for so long, and there’s been a huge financial risk to the taxpayers of Oklahoma,” Mazzei said. “Getting this bill signed means we can see TRS on a path to a firmer financial footing and we can communicate to our teachers that they can feel more secure about their retirements.”

Under SB 357, higher employer contributions to TRS will be phased in through increased state appropriations. The bill also contains a provision to ensure the funding to TRS will remain unchanged in times of economic downturn or due to decreases in tax revenues. As a result of these changes, the system, which currently has a funded level of 49 percent, should reach a funded level of 80 percent by the year 2026.

“I’m pleased that the governor has joined with legislative leaders who put together a piece of legislation that will ensure the security of our retirees in the Teachers’ Retirement System,” Corn said. “It’s both a legal and moral obligation for us to strengthen this system on behalf of the men and women who built Oklahoma by educating our children.”

For more information contact:
Senator Mazei's Office:  (405) 521-5675
Senator Corn's Office:  (405) 521-5576

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