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State House Passes Public Pension Funding Bill (Feb 24, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has passed legislation requiring cost-of-living adjustments for retired state workers to be fully funded.

The bill is one of more than a dozen that legislative leaders have proposed to address a funding crisis in Oklahoma's public pension systems. Pension systems for teachers, public safety workers and other state employees have a collective $16.5 billion unfunded liability.

Pension officials have said lawmakers contributed to the financial problems by approving COLAs for retirees without funding them.

Rep. Randy McDaniel of Edmond says funding COLAs will restore billions of dollars to the systems over time.

The House voted 62-28 for the measure Thursday and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

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