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How Colo. News Orgs Covered Senate Panel’s Vote On PERA Fix

Here’s how Colorado news organizations on Tuesday covered SB10-001.

The Pueblo Chieftain:
Reluctantly, groups and individuals with a stake in the debate over who will pay to fix the ailing public employees’ pension fund conceded something must be done. Also grudgingly, lawmakers reached compromises to move forward a bill aimed at stabilizing the PERA pension fund. Two amendments were added to SB1 before it was passed by the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 5-2.

KDVR: One Republican, Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, joined four Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee in approving Senate Bill 1 on a 5-2 vote. Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Fruita, is co-sponsoring the bill along with Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont. Penry called the proposal “an imperfect plan that achieves an important outcome, that is solving, over 30 years, the largest fiscal liability facing the state of Colorado.” Dozens of retirees packed the Old Supreme Court Chambers to air their frustrations with PERA’s problems and the proposed solutions. Many said they understand the need to make changes, but others spoke out against those changes and raised the specter of a legal challenge.

AP: Warning that there will be a lot of shared pain, Colorado lawmakers gave initial approval Tuesday to a plan to rescue the state’s pension system that increases contributions from employees and employers and reduces benefits. The Senate Finance Committee approved the plan after sponsors said without changes, it could run out of money in 20 years.

Education News Colorado: The hearing provided an interesting contrast in views, with established public employee groups testifying in favor of the plan while many individual retirees opposed it. (More than 40 witnesses signed up to testify.)

The Denver Post: “Frankly, we should go further than we have,” said Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction.

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