2013 Legislation

TSEA’s Legislation

Relief for Parking Fees for Higher Education Employees
HB1306 (Windle) / SB 1369 (Tate)
Education, Higher – As introduced, requires UT and TBR institutions to provide free parking to employees who earn less than the average state employee salary; permits other employees to be charged for parking on a tiered scale based on salary. – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 7.

TSEA and TBR have reached an agreement to launch a pilot program this Fall at the University of Memphis to test out this bill. TBR, TSEA, and the bill’s sponsors have agreed to bring the bill back before the General Assembly next year to report on the pilot program’s results and explore expansion of the project to other TBR schools.

Death Benefits for Non-Contributory TCRS Members
HB0545 (Harrison) / SB1351 (Yager)
Pensions and Retirement Benefits – As introduced, authorizes lump sum death benefit to beneficiary for noncontributory member dying prior to retirement as if such member had been a contributory member. – Amends TCA Section 8-36-107

TSEA is in discussion with the Treasurer and other Legislators to have this bill included as part of the Administration’s Pension Reform Bill.

State Employees, Not Contractors

HB1052 (Jernigan) / SB1188 (Niceley)
Public Contracts – As introduced, requires any state department or agency to certify to the comptroller of the treasury that no employee within such department or agency is capable of accomplishing certain tasks before the department or agency can contract for such services. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 8 and Title 12

Status – Senate
Heard in Senate State & Local Government Committee March 27th, withdrawn until further notice.

Status – House
Heard in the House State Government Subcommittee March 27th. Failed to leave the subcommittee by a vote of 3-3.

State Employees as Election Officials

HB0578 (T. Hill) / SB0873 (Crowe)
State Employees – As introduced, authorizes state employees to serve as election officials at the polling place. – Amends TCA Title 2, Chapter 1, Part 1

Status – Senate
Senate State & Local Government Committee heard on March 5th
Passed to Senate Floor March 7th
Senate Floor passed the bill 27-0

Status – House
House Local Government Sub Committee heard March 6th
Passed to full House Local Government Committee for March 12th
House Local Government Committee passed bill to House Floor for March 21st
House Floor passed the bill 95-0

Retiree/Spouse Tuition Discount

HB0887 (Hawk) / SB1164 (Hensley)
Education, Higher – As introduced, allows retired state employees to take one class without charge per semester at public institutions of higher education; allows spouses of state employees to receive a 25 percent discount on tuition at public institutions of higher education. – Amends TCA Section 8-50-114; Section 8-50-115 and Section 49-7-113

Status – Senate
The bill was placed with the Senate Education Committee on March 27th and rolled to April 1st. Sponsor rolled the bill to April 3rd pending further discussion
The sponsor rolled the bill to Janaury 2014 to continue working on language and amendments due to the bill having a fiscal note.

Status – House
House Education Subcommittee for February 26th
Passed to full House Education Committee March 5th, rolled one week to March 12th
Passed to House Finance, Ways, & Means Subcommittee, rolled until March 27th, rolled until April 3rd, rolled to the next calendar  (January 2014)

Legislation on Watch

State Treasurer’s Hybrid Pension Plan
HB0948 (McManus) / SB1005 (McNally)
Among many changes to TCRS for newly hired state employees after July 2014, the Treasurer’s new proposed hybrid plan is both a Defined Benefit (DB) plus a Defined Contribution (DC) plan. Current state employees are non-contributory, which means they are not required to contribute to the retirement system to receive a benefit. Under the DB side of the hybrid plan, state employees would contribute 5% of salary and the state would contribute 4% of payroll. On the DC side, state employees would contribute 2% of salary, with an opt-out feature, and the state would contribute 5% of salary. 

Heard in Joint Council on Pensions & Insurance March 4th and March 11th with TSEA and the Treasurer presenting arguments

Status – Senate
Passed to Senate Finance, Ways, & Means Committee for March 19th, rolled to March 26th, passed by a vote of 11-0.
Senate passed 32-0 on April 8th.

Status – House
House State Government Subcommittee passed the bill on March 12th to the full committee without allowing any discussion of the bill
The House State Government Committee passed the bill on to the House Government Operations Committee
House Government Operations Committee passed the bill to the House Finance, Ways, & Means Subcommittee on a vote of 8-4.
Passed to the full House Finance, Ways & Means Committee on a voice vote, passed on a voice vote out of committee to House Floor.
House passed 71-16-1 on April 11th.

Labor Unions Restrictions (an anti-TSEA bill)
HB0913 (Casada) / SB0725 (Campfield)
Labor – As introduced, authorizes state employees belonging to a public employee organization to pay dues for only collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance procedures; prohibits work stoppages; changes number of state employees who are entitled to attend statewide meeting of an employee organization from 5 percent to 3 percent. – Amends TCA Title 8, Chapter 23 and Title 8, Chapter 50.

Status – Senate
Senate Commerce & Labor Committee for March 5th, rolled to March 12th, rolled to March 13th, rolled to March 18th, rolled to March 27th
Senate Commerce & Labor Committee defeated the measure by a vote of 5-4.

Status – House
House State Government Subcommittee passed the bill on to the full House State Government Committee with little questioning.
House State Government Committee rolled the bill until the January 2014 calendar.

Payroll Deduction (an anti-TSEA bill)
HB0502 (Casada) / SB0490 (Campfield)
Labor – As introduced, requires certain political activities by labor organizations be funded separately through voluntary donations of members and not through regularly collected dues. – Amends TCA Title 50, Chapter 1.

Status – Senate
Senate Commerce & Labor Committee for March 19th, rolled to March 12th, rolled to March 26th.
Due to Sen. Campfield not being present in the Committee at the time the bill was heard, the bill was rolled until January 2014.

Status – House
House Consumer and Human Resources Subcommittee for March 20th, rolled to March 27th.
Rep. Casada announced that the bill would be rolled until January 2014.