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State Firefighters Oppose Pension Changes (Feb 16, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Dozens of Oklahoma firefighters visited the state Capitol Wednesday to express concern over proposed legislation that could change their pension benefits and guidelines.

A state House committee was scheduled to consider several pension bills Wednesday afternoon. Legislative leaders say modifying Oklahoma's public pension systems is one of their top priorities for the 2011 Legislature because of the systems' $16.5 billion unfunded liability.

Luke Gregory of the Edmond Fire Department says he and other members of the department were on hand to show support for the pension benefits they currently receive. Raanon Adams of the Lawton Fire Department says firefighters believe many of the proposed changes are unfair.

One bill would increase firefighter pension contributions and raise the years of service a firefighter must worker to receive the pension.

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