As the general assembly begins working toward winding down legislative session for the year, this coming week will see the last scheduled meetings for many of the legislative committees.
This big news of this week happened during Tuesday’s Senate State and Local Government committee where Sen. Ken Yager brought forward an amendment to the TDOC budget to add $7.7M to the department’s budget and salary plan. The amendment intends to supplement the department’s efforts to improve correctional officer starting salaries, allowing TDOC the flexibility in their budget to also adjust salaries for veteran officers and counselors. It is important to remember, this is a legislative committee recommendation which must go through the entire budget process before it’s finalized. (Last week Sen. Yager and the State and Local Government Committee delayed approval of the Department of Correction’s budget for one week to facilitate the discussion about correctional officer and counselor salaries.)
Sen. Yager tweeted out the following after the committee:
Reminder, the Governor’s proposed budget funds raises for all state employees as follows:
• Funding equivalent to a 2% pay-for-performance raise for all state employees in TEAM Act agencies, effective January 1, 2020,
• Funding equivalent to a 2% for those employees in Non-TEAM Act agencies, effective July 1, 2019,
• Funding for salary market adjustments for state employees, effective July 1, 2019 (more details to come),
• A 2% salary pool for Higher Education employees.
Concerning our legislative agenda, on Wednesday, April 4, the House Finance Subcommittee placed the Longevity bill behind the budget, which means the bill will be considered after the state’s spending plan is set. This action is expected for bills that carry a substantial fiscal note. The Senate State and Local Committee is set to hear the Longevity bill on Tuesday, April 9, at 9:30 a.m.
This coming Tuesday the Burden of Proof bill is scheduled to be heard in the House State Committee at 9 a.m. and the Senate State & Local Government Committee at 9:30 a.m.
One of the bills we support, SB0741 by Senator Sara Kyle which authorizes state agencies to provide child care services for state employees, was taken off notice for this year. TSEA has agreed to work with Sen. Kyle and DHS to develop a pilot program for next year.
You can view all of these committees live on the General Assembly’s website at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov
In other news, we want to congratulate DCS Case Manager Venessa Hyer, a great State Employee and one of our TSEA members, who was recently honored with the 2019 General William C. Whitesell Award because of her work with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. This award is given out annually by the Rutherford County Coalition Against Child Abuse during Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Congratulations Venessa and thank you for the great work you do for Tennessee!
Update on TSEA’s Legislative Agenda Bills
Longevity for All
Burden of Proof
For information on other bills in our legislative agenda, as well as other bills we are monitoring, please visit: