Legislative Update: Emergency Appropriation to Fund EUTF signed into law; status updates on priority and takeaway bills
March 24, 2011
Having just passed the halfway point in the 2011 Legislative Session, HGEA continues to monitor legislation that may affect members. Tomorrow is Second Lateral (deadline for bills to be moved to their final referral committee in the same house) at the State Legislature.
The Emergency Appropriation to Fund the EUTF, Act 6, SLH 2011 (HB1034, HD1) was passed and signed into law by Governor Abercrombie on March 17, 2011. This appropriation will cover the dollar amount equal to a 60-40 split in health insurance premium payments for State employees, putting their share of premium payments in line with the Counties. This bill is effective from March 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011. The split for health insurance premiums after June 30, 2011 will be determined in the upcoming contract negotiations.
We are in strong support of these bills:
Package of Collective Bargaining (CB) and EUTF Funding Vehicles: referred to House Labor (LAB), Finance (FIN) (SB1055, 1061, 1062, 1063, 1064, 1075, 1077, 1081, 1082, 1083, 1084, 1095, 1096, all have a SD1)
- All of the CB vehicle bills were reconsidered and deferred indefinitely.
- All of the EUTF vehicle bills are alive and now referred to House FIN.
EUTF Omnibus and Benefits Negotiable: referred to House LAB, FIN (SB1066, SD1 and SB1078, SD2, HD1)
- Both bills were heard on Friday, March 18, 2011 and passed, with amendments.
Creation of Bargaining Unit 14 - State Law Enforcement Officers: referred to House LAB/Public Safety and Military Affairs (PBM), FIN (SB1065, SD1)
- Passed LAB/PBM, with no amendments, referred to House FIN.
Converts Exempt positions to Civil Service positions within 3 years: deferred (SB1090, SD1)
- Since the introduction of this bill, HGEA and the Employer have mutually agreed to resolve our issues and to identify positions to convert.
- Act 300 SLH 2000 requires the Employer to report the number of conversions to the Legislature. If the number remains stagnant, we will re-visit the legislation and pursue statutory changes.
Takeaway and ERS bills
The following bills were passed, with amendments:
- ERS overtime calculation: referred to House LAB, FIN (SB1269, SD1)
- Medicare Part B: referred to Senate Judiciary and Labor (JDL), Ways and Means (WAM) (HB1041, HD2)
- Pension Tax Bill: referred to Senate JDL, WAM (HB1092, HD1)