NEWS FLASH: Oklahoma Governor Fallin signs pension reforms, to save $6.8 billion
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Published: 10-May-2011

In a state Capitol ceremony today (Tuesday, May 10), Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed five significant reforms in state government pension systems. In remarks before the formal signing of the bills, state Sen. Mike Mazzei projected the combined impact of the five measures will lower Oklahoma’s unfunded pension liabilities by $6.8 billion over three decades – more than one-third of the $15 billion plus burden that has focused the attention of public officials in recent months. 

Mazzei and Rep. Randy McDaniel thanked their legislative leadership, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Kris Steele, for their willingness to tackle the politically challenging pension issues this year. 

Mazzei also said that pension reform was “the biggest financial achievement we could have achieved this year, and we did it.” 

State Treasurer Ken Miller reflected the five measures amounted to “an important fiscal milestone in the history of our state.” He expressed hope that the dramatic reforms would “communicate to the rating agencies” that the state was moving aggressively on pension reforms. 

Miller concluded his remarks, saying, “The job is not done. We have to go forward and design a system that is cost effective, building a modern workforce and a leaner government.” While work remains, he reflected, “This is a big deal.”

Further details on the five bills and comments by officials at today’s ceremony, including Gov. Fallin, will be provided in a forthcoming story from CapitolBeatOK. 

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