The Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) board of trustees will hold a special meeting Tuesday, February 12, 11:30 a.m., to discuss retirees’ ability to serve in the Mississippi Legislature without forfeiting their retirement benefits. Attorney General Jim Hood has issued a news release urging state employees and retirees to attend the meeting.
We’ve heard from numerous retired educators who are thrilled with the recent Attorney General (AG) ruling allowing them to serve in the State Legislature and draw their PERS retirement. Other states allow their retirees to draw their state pensions while serving in their state legislatures, and Mississippi allows state retirees to draw their state pensions while serving in municipal and county elected positions. The Mississippi PERS board should vote immediately to follow the AG’s ruling; they should rescind or modify the existing regulation that discriminates against state retirees who serve in the Mississippi Legislature, which the Attorney General has ruled unlawful. The deadline to qualify to run for a state legislative seat is March 1 of this year.
At the December PERS board meeting, Dr. Lee Childress, PERS trustee and superintendent of the Corinth School District, reported that his committee had discussed the AG ruling in depth but preferred to seek clarification from the AG before taking action. That clarification was provided to PERS by the AG on January 24.
Attorney General Hood has asked retirees who cannot attend Tuesday’s meeting to provide comments to PERS by phone at 800-444-7377 or 601-359-3589 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the list of PERS trustees here.
PERS Board of Trustees Special Called Meeting
Tuesday, February 12, 11:30 a.m., 429 Mississippi Street, Jackson (across the street from the State Capitol)
We encourage all those considering a run for the State Legislature to press forward with your plans. Our state absolutely needs more educators helping to craft the laws that affect our public schools! In the coming months, we will provide additional information about the steps to take to wage a successful campaign as a pro-public school candidate.