Rule change grounds Hawaii trip for pension officials

11:21 AM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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COLUMBUS - Two members of a public pension board have decided not to travel to Hawaii for a conference after state officials moved to block them from being reimbursed for their travel expenses.

State officials were frustrated by two board members of the School Employees Retirement System insisting that they travel to Hawaii for the conference. So a rules committee voted Monday that no retirement system employee can be reimbursed for travel from now on. The House is scheduled to vote on it Tuesday. The Senate on Wednesday.

The rule change was a rare action by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.

This morning SERS board member Catherine Moss, one of the two who had planned to make the trip, indicated by email the travel plans were canceled.

According to WCMH in Columbus, Moss and board member Barbara Phillips had resisted heavy pressure from the SERS retirees, lawmakers and the public. The two insisted they travel to Hawaii for the conference on pension fund investing to get the education they said they needed to make good decisions.

Lawmakers and the state oversight committee had repeatedly criticized the Hawaii trip and urged the pension fund board to change its travel policy.

Associated Press/WCMH

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