Legislative Update Week Ending 2-18-2022

TSEA February 21, 2022 0
Legislative Update Week Ending 2-18-2022

Tuesday our TEAM PAC leadership during their Day on the Hill had very productive meetings with all four caucus chairman in the House and Senate. Senate Chairman Ken Yager (Kingston) and Ramesh Akbari(Memphis), as well as House Chairman Jeremy Faison ( Cosby) and Vincent Dixie (Nashville), all felt confident the legislature will pass the proposed budget with all the enhancements to state employees and higher education salary increases, the match on the 401(k), and appropriations to TCRS and post-employment insurance funds that are needed for our retirees to secure their benefits into the future.

TSEA has also been closely watching department hearings as they are held in various committees and so far all department budgets have been approved, with many of our legislative members asking about issues important to state employees. 


TSEA’s 2022 Legislative Priorities

During our Legislative Event presentations, we discuss this year’s legislative priorities and initiatives, which are included below:

Retain and build on Governor Bill Lee’s proposed budget for:

  • Funding for P4P increases equivalent to 4% on January 1 based on score
  • Funding for Higher Ed and other branches of government raises equivalent to 4%
  • Encourage Higher Ed institutions to update market salary studies
  • Funding for updated market study and then funding to make sure all job classes meet the market rate
  • Advocate for increasing ranges of all preferred service job classifications
  • Additional funding for TCRS legacy plan and OPEB post retiree health insurance
  • Increase in 401(k) starting July 1 to $100 for 1 year

TSEA Legislative Initiatives:

  • Passage of Burden of Proof and other technical corrections involving employee rights
  • Working administratively with DoHR and Higher Ed campuses to make sure TSEA has enhanced access to employee onboarding and orientations
  • Equity in correctional teacher pay
  • Retention bonus for state employees who no longer get longevity
  • Support elimination of private prisons
  • Monitor any caseload legislation for DCS case managers
  • Pursue further discounts for state employees, retirees, and Higher Education employees at state parks

Legislation

Here are bill numbers for key legislation we are monitoring or working to advance:

As a reminder, Livestreams and videos of legislative meetings and activities are accessible on the legislative calendar page at this link: https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/schedule/ 

Burden of Proof HB2172 – Lamberth, Gant, Hawk | SB2422 – Johnson, Briggs
Summary: As introduced, replaces “list of eligibles” with “pool of candidates” for purposes of filling positions in state service; revises various procedures regarding proceedings against state employees.
Status:House: Placed on cal. State Government Committee for Tuesday, 2/22/2022Senate: Placed on Senate State and Local Government Committee calendar for Tuesday, 2/22/2022
Notes: After several years of negotiating with the Lee Administration, a compromise has been reached and is reflected in the language of this bill. There are several improvements that benefit state employees involved in the appeal process but most important is that the burden of proof will be the responsibility of the appealing party at the third and final step.

DCS caseloads HB2163 – Lamberth, Gant, Vital | SB2413 – Johnson, Jackson
Summary: As introduced, specifies that the average caseloads of case managers must be calculated at least monthly.
Status:House: Placed on cal. Civil Justice Committee for Wednesday, 2/23/2022Senate: Senate Judiciary Committee
Notes: TSEA is watching closely as this bill works through committees. We want to make sure it will have a positive impact on DCS Commissioner Nichols’ ability to accurately report average caseload numbers.
As a reminder, Livestreams and videos of legislative meetings and activities are accessible on the legislative calendar page at this link: https://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/schedule/

TDOC Salary Increase HB2339 – Windle | SB2345 Yager
Summary: As introduced, increases wages and salaries of preferred service employees of the department by 15 percent.
Status:House: Placed on cal. State Government Committee for Tuesday, 2/22/2022Senate: Senate State and Local Government Committee

Essential Employee TCRS Credit for Service During Covid HB1658 – Russell, Griffey, C. Johnson | SB1805 – Massey, Jackson, Swann, Pody
Summary: As introduced, establishes COVID-19 essential employee retirement service credit for members of the Tennessee consolidated retirement system and participants in the state’s hybrid retirement plan.
Status:House – Public Service Subcomm.   Senate – State & Local Govt. Comm.

Correctional Teacher Pay HB0846 – Sherrell, Cooper | SB1599 – Bailey, YagerSummary: As introduced, requires the board of control of the Tennessee corrections institute to maintain a list of correctional teachers that includes their academic background and qualifications to teach.
Status: House – Taken Off Notice for calendar in Subcomm. of FW&M Comm. (5/2021)Senate – General Subcomm. of FW&M Comm. (5/2021)
(Note: Fiscal note combining salary and benefits required is almost $3 million) 


TSEA Lobby Day

Tuesday, April 5 – Nashville, TN
This year, we will have our traditional format for the day, beginning the day in the House Chamber and then moving to the 8th Floor Cordell Hull Building for a luncheon with legislators from 11am to 1pm. All legislators are being invited to join you on the 8th Floor for the luncheon, however, we know they may not all be available during that time, and you may have to make an appointment to visit with them in their offices.

Make your plans now to attend Lobby Day on April 5. To attend Lobby Day and request overnight lodging for members attending that are from outside of Nashville, please register on our website at tseaonline.org or use this direct link:

You can now register to attend this year’s Lobby Day here:
https://tseaonline.formstack.com/forms/lobby_day


Thank you for being a member of TSEA and for your dedication and commitment to serving Tennessee. Please continue to monitor your email for the latest updates.

Not a member? Join TSEA today at https://tseaonline.org/jointsea/

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