Will the Oregon Supreme Court Reverse Itself on PERS?
It is an interesting question to ponder even as far fetched as it would seem. Yet, that is what may happen soon in California as a number of appeals court rulings have reversed long held CalPERS policies. The court's rationale in these reversals undercuts the reasoning of errant Oregon Supreme Court rulings on PERS on the very same issues, thus leading to the idea that the Oregon Supremes may be forced into similar reversals for these reasons. This possibility becomes even more likely as the devastating effects of PERS employer rate increases on the state and local government budgets (possibly hitting 40% in a few years) creates enormous pressure for the Oregon Supremes to reverse themselves.
It should be noted that the expectation is that the California Supreme Court will favor the appeals court reversals, but even if they don't, the appeals court rulings creates the arguments that could be considered by
Oregon's Supreme Court.
Others are beginning to talk about this possibility as evidenced by the recent Oregonian OPED by Salem attorney Scott Shephard, which added to numerous editorials from several major newspapers in Oregon about the need for PERS reforms, may begin to build momentum for the Oregon Supreme Court to consider reversing course on their previous wrong headed PERS rulings.
Time will tell.