Because of a busy schedule at the capitol this week, a group of Republican Senators won’t be holding a press conference to talk PERS but they did send out a press release today announcing the release of a new website, MSPERS.org. This was designed in response to Honor Your Promise, the Democratic website (anonymously) attacking Republicans on the issue. Give Republicans credit for putting their name behind their site.
Here are statements issued by various Senators:
Sen. Chris McDaniel: “We stand united in our defense of Mississippi retirees against this type of irresponsibility. Democrats have chosen to demagogue this issue because they have nothing else to offer the citizens of Mississippi in terms of positive ideas on how to move our state forward during these tough times. Our firefighters, police officers, teachers, and first responders deserve better treatment than to be used in this type of political theater.”
Sen. Michael Watson: “The very reason this needs to be looked at closely is to protect the system. The numbers clearly show that PERS has been under significant stress for the past eight to ten years. It would be irresponsible for public officials to look the other way. To do so is to unnecessarily risk the benefits of the hardworking individuals who protect us, who build our infrastructure, and who educate our children. We have to honor the jobs they do by doing our jobs here in the legislature.”
Sen. Giles Ward: “Every concerned individual should know how important protecting these benefits are for all of us. Our state employees give of themselves daily. I know this first hand because my wife Kay is a retired teacher. Kay’s PERS benefits are the principal source of our retirement income. She dutifully stood and taught students, for 28 years, much of which was in an un-air conditioned classroom, and she certainly earned every penny of her retirement as well as her 13th check. I will never insult her commitment, nor that of any of our other fine state retirees and employees by voting to do anything that would reduce those benefits. I find the Democrat’s willingness to use shameful scare tactics to be an insult to the intelligence of the thousands of people who dedicate themselves to the betterment of our state every day.”
Sen. Doug Davis: “We need serious discussion about maintaining a stable public retirement system, not scare tactics to frighten voters. There is not a legislative attempt to take away the cost-of-living adjustment or what is commonly known as the 13th check. The very state leaders who are looking out for the longterm solvency of the system are the very ones being vilified by some. Current retirees, state employees and Mississippi taxpayers deserve better.”
Majority in Mississippi