The legislative process is moving at a consistent pace, and TSEA is actively attending all budget hearings to stay informed on the latest developments. The Department of Human Resources (DoHR) is currently amending the paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) bill, and we anticipate that both the FMLA and bills from the DCS ad hoc committee will begin advancing through the committee system in the upcoming weeks.
News from the week:
DoHR testified before the Senate and House finance committees, where Commissioner Williams discussed the market adjustments. He elaborated on his vision for the next rounds of adjustments, which will address compression based on past performance, additional degrees or certifications, and years of service. He also spoke about moving the ranges 1 to 2 percent annually to avoid falling behind.
The Governor’s proposed budget includes funding to begin market upgrades for members in the Legislative Branch (including Treasury, Comptroller, and Secretary of State) and Judicial entities (including DAs, PDs, and Courts). These market upgrades, if included in the final budget, are set to begin in July and are intended to ensure that they remain competitive with the Executive Branch. We will continue to educate legislators on the importance of keeping this funding in the budget.
During a DHS budget review, TSEA heard extensively about the department’s childcare initiatives. We recommended they consider including a childcare facility for state employees at the new multi-agency campus in Nashville, which will serve multiple law enforcement groups, prisons, and the corrections academy. We will continue to monitor this situation and update you as we gather more information.
Several bills, including one affecting higher education, have been added to our watch list. This bill allows employees who use TIAA-CREF instead of TCRS to return for exactly 120 days, as allowed by TCRS. Additionally, higher education employees have a third option that changes the law to treat them the same with the 120 days. We are also monitoring a bill to permit continued leave accrual for state employees called in for National Guard duty.
For TSEA chapters attending Lobby Day, please begin scheduling your legislative appointments in March. For chapters not attending Lobby Day, we encourage you to write a letter or email to the legislators in your area and send it on Lobby Day to ensure that as many state and higher education employees as possible are heard on April 11.
TSEA staff members will attend the Northeast Legislative Breakfast in East Tennessee tomorrow, Saturday, February 25, and we will have coverage of that event on our social media channels.
That concludes our update for this week. Stay tuned to our legislative updates for the latest news about the work TSEA is doing for you on the hill. Thank you for being a TSEA member!
Click here for the latest update on 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/