Colorado PERA Bill Heads to the House

February 2, 2010 ( – The Colorado state Senate has approved and sent on to the state House a bill revamping the state’s public pension system.

A Durango Herald news report said Senate Bill 1, which was designed to help put the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) back on a solid financial footing, passed the Senate on a 25 to 10 vote. Teachers and government workers would pay more, work more years before retirement, and get lower retirement benefits under the bill (see CO Senate Panel OKs PERA Fix).

The Herald said some Republicans fought the measure, saying they preferred a 401(k)-style retirement plan for state workers instead of a traditional pension.

The PERA bill was a joint effort of the top Democrat and Republican in the Senate, President Brandon Shaffer and Minority Leader Josh Penry.

“We are asking everyone to make a sacrifice,” Shaffer said, according to the Herald. “This bill is not a fun bill to carry, but we need to do it for the 440,000 teachers, police officers, and state troopers who depend on us to make this tough decision. We are trying to create some certainty for the PERA retirees that this fund will exist well into the future.”