2021 Legislative Conference: 2020 Policymaker of the Year Award
NCPERS hosted our Annual Legislative Conference webast on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. NCPERS awarded the 2020 Policymaker of the Year Award to The Honorable Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Following is a transcription of his remarks.
2020 Policymaker of the Year Award
[Introduction by Hank H. Kim of The Honorable Sherrod Brown (D-OH)] Now it's the time to honor our 2020 NCPERS policy maker of the year award recipient, a lifelong Ohioan, Senator Sherrod Brown has spent his career fighting for the dignity of work. The idea that hard work should pay off for everyone, no matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of work you do. Senator Brown serves as chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. He also serves on the Finance Committee, the Agriculture Committee, and the is the longest serving Ohioan on the Veterans Affairs Committee. We are honoring Senator Brown today as the NCPERS 2020 policymaker of the year, for his tireless efforts to reform and streamline the administrations. The administration of Internal Revenue Code section 42-L also known as to Health Provision and Early Medicare buy-in for public safety retirees. While Senator Brown couldn't join us in person, he has supplied us with the short recording to accept his award.
Thank you to the National Conference on Public Employees Retirement Systems for honoring me today. Thank you for your work on behalf of all workers and retirees across the country who have earned pensions, the millions of workers you represent understand collective bargain, and they gave up dollars today to put it aside for their future. And the promises that the secure retirement, after a lifetime of hard work in service to our country, our teachers, our firefighters, our children's workers, our law enforcement public servants, all should be able to retire with the dignity they have earned. But their retirement security is under constant threat from greedy corporations and politicians who don't understand collective bargaining. Don't understand that a pension is a promise. Don't understand the sacrifices you make at the bargaining table today or in the workplace today, for your future.
When Wall Street gambled and lost, they got to bail out. When big corporations come to Washington, looking for tax cuts, they get a handout. Workers never asked for either, just what they have earned. We know that supporting pension stuff doesn't affect you. These dollars are going right back into supporting the economy. Most people who get public employee pensions, most PRS or STRs, or SERS members in Ohio, aren't putting their money in a Swiss bank account. They're spending it in Cleveland, at Dayton, and Springfield. So, I'll continue leading in efforts in Washington to improve retirement security. I'm introducing bipartisan legislation later this week to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset, that hurt public sector workers, employees who work hard follow the rules should not be penalized with lower benefits because of earned pension income. I'm committed to working, continuing our fight together to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Your advocacy on those issues matter greatly, too. I won't stop fighting until we protect retirement security that all workers have earned. Thank you for speaking out.
All NCPERS Legislative Conference transcripts are edited for readability and continuity.