This week, the Administration’s bills affecting Longevity and Health Insurance for future state employees were both passed out of the Senate and House Finance, Ways, & Means Committees and will be heard on respective floors tomorrow.
On Monday, the Senate Finance Committee passed both bills with no questions or discussion. Tuesday, both bills were met with much discussion in both the House Finance Subcommittee and the full House Finance Committee.
While discussing the Longevity Bill (HB647), Representatives Bill Dunn, Brenda Gilmore, and Craig Fitzhugh all voiced concerns to DOHR Commissioner Rebecca Hunter regarding the distribution of Merit Pay and the improvements needed to make job plans fair and attainable for state employees.
Representative David Hawk asked Commissioner Hunter if she would be willing to work with TSEA to improve the performance evaluation system and the Individual Performance Plans so that state employees could have more guidance to attain “advanced” and “outstanding” ratings. Commissioner Hunter said that DOHR has maintained a good relationship with TSEA since the TEAM Act was enacted and expected to continue working with TSEA on improvements.
During discussion of the Health Insurance Bill (HB648), Rep. Fitzhugh voiced concern over making such dramatic changes to the benefits of future state employees and how such changes could affect the quality of the state’s workforce.
You can watch what happened with both of the bills in each Finance Committee by clicking the links below: