CARSON CITY — Nineteen of the Assembly’s 42 members are eligible to receive or share in retirement benefits from the Public Employees Retirement System.
Before a Thursday vote on a bill affecting PERS, Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, read into the record the names of legislators who have a financial interest in PERS. He said they were required to disclose whether they or their spouses are eligible for PERS pensions before voting on Assembly Bill 319.
The bill, which passed 41-0, obligates the Legislature not to increase public employee retirement benefits until the assets of PERS reach at least 85 percent of the long-term liabilities. PERS had assets equivalent to 74.9 percent of liabilities in 2006, down from 84.7 percent in 2000.
Oceguera said ethics laws require legislators to disclose they have a financial interests in bills. But since they are not affected any differently than other PERS participants, he said the laws permitted them to vote on the bill.
Based on their service in the Legislature, Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, also noted all members of the Assembly could be eligible for pensions through PERS. But Oceguera only sought the disclosure for lawmakers eligible through other employment.
Along with Oceguera and Buckley, those affected by the bill were David Parks, Mo Denis, Susan Gerhardt, Ellen Koivisto, Ruben Kihuen, Kelvin Atkinson, Mark Manendo, Kathy McClain, Tick Segerblom and Harvey Munford, all Clark County Democrats; Sheila Leslie, Bernie Anderson and David Bobzien, both Washoe County Democrats; Bonnie Parnell, a Carson City Democrat; Tom Grady, a Yerington Republican; John Carpenter, an Elko Republican; Pete Goicoechea, a Eureka Republican; and Lynn Stewart, a Clark County Republican.2007