Legislative Update – Week Ending 3-1-19

TSEA March 1, 2019 Comments Off on Legislative Update – Week Ending 3-1-19
Legislative Update – Week Ending 3-1-19

Governor Bill Lee will present his State of the State
speech Monday March 4, 2019 at 6 p.m. Central. 

We expect Governor Lee to announce a couple of initiatives that will affect state employees including public safety and mental health. This will also be our first chance to hear Governor Lee’s plans for state employee raises and overall compensation.

Governor Lee’s mental health initiative will include an increase to the state hospitals for the first time in twenty years. We are encouraged by this investment and want to publicly thank Governor Lee and Commissioner Marie Williams. 

Budget hearings will begin Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.
Central with Finance and Administration Commissioner Stuart McWhorter
presenting the budget to the Senate Finance Committee. 

To watch the Senate Finance committee meeting and see the
budget presentation visit the following link on Tuesday morning:

http://bit.ly/TNSenateCalendar

You can watch live or find his testimony archived at your convenience.

TSEA will have three bills in various House committees this week:

(*indicates legislation also applies to Higher Education employees)


Longevity for All

SB0689 Sen. Jackson
HB0900 Rep. Sparks
TSEA believes employees should not be divided into two classifications for pay and benefits. The first step in correcting this is to bring back longevity for all state employees.
Committees:
Senate State and Local Government
House Public Service & Employees Subcommittee
Set for House Public Service & Employee Subcommittee 03/06/19

Burden of Proof

SB0621 Sen. Hensley, Co-Prime Sponsor: Sen. Yager
HB0644 Rep. T. Hill
TSEA believes the State of Tennessee bears the burden of proof when they take disciplinary action against an employee that is appealable. This bill would clarify the relevant language in state statute.
Committees:
Senate State and Local Government
House Public Service & Employees Subcommittee
Set for House Public Service & Employee Subcommittee 03/06/19

DCS Caseloads

SB0616 Sen. Hensley
HB0921 Rep. Cepicky, Co-Prime Sponsor: Rep. M. Hill
This bill requires the maximum caseload in some cases to be 20 instead of the average of 20, and 10 cases for foster care workers.
Committees:
Senate Judiciary Committee
House Children & Families Committee
Set for House Children & Families Subcommittee 03/05/19


Other bills in our Legislative Agenda:

TEAM Act improvements

SB1269 Sen. Pody
HB0778 Rep. Ramsey
Will seek to correct deficiencies found in the application of the TEAM Act bill regarding several different areas of the preferred service section for employees.
Committees:
Senate State and Local Government
Awaiting assignment in the House

*TCRS Oversight by Treasurer

SB1182 Sen. Bowling      
HB1304 Rep. Baum
This bill enables the Treasurer of the State of Tennessee to have input regarding the impact on TCRS from outsourcing state jobs.
Committees:
Senate State and Local Government
Awaiting assignment in the House

Across the Board Raises

SB0622 Sen. Hensley
HB1251 Rep. Byrd
This bill addresses across-the-board pay raises.
Committees:Senate State and Local Government
Awaiting assignment in the House


Update on bills we support:

Prohibitions in statements to fiscal review committee

SB428 Sen. Gardenhire
HB1069 Rep. Sanderson
Prohibits any executive level state employee, lobbyist or employee of a contractor from providing false information to the fiscal review committee.
Set for House State Committee 03/05/19

*Daycare for employees

SB0741 Sen. Kyle
HB 1207 Rep. Mitchell

Daycare for state employees administered through their departments or institution.

*Grievance procedure for higher ed support staff made available on institution’s website

SB188 Sen. Gresham
HB116 Rep. Sparks
Requires each institution governed by the board of regents or a state university board to make available on its website the grievance procedure for its support staff.

*Tennessee State Family Leave Act

SB647 Sen. Kyle
HB514 Rep. Johnson
This bill deals with family and medical leave insurance benefits.

*TCRS – death benefits

SB1371 Sen. Yager
HB1177 Rep. Weaver
Grants a retirement allowance to surviving spouses who are designated beneficiaries if the deceased TCRS member is vested.
Set for Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee 03/05/19
Set for House Public Service & Employee Subcommittee 03/06/19


Updates on other bills we are monitoring:

Earlier this week Representative Barbara Cooper presented her bill to have the Department of Human Resources create an exit survey for employees leaving state employment and compile a report to present to the legislature of the results annually. After receiving assurance from the Department of Human Resources and meeting with TSEA, Rep. Cooper took her bill off notice with assurance from DOHR that the results will be made available. We would like to acknowledge Rep. Cooper’s dedication to improving state government and her willingness to work with TSEA and Commissioner Juan Williams on this very important issues.

*Revises Public Employee Political Freedom Act of 1980

SB0569 Sen. Bowling
HB1087 Rep. Bricken
Would require the court to sanction an employee for a frivolous suit.
Set for House Public Service & Employee Subcommittee 03/06/19
TSEA opposes this bill as introduced but have met with the sponsor to express our concerns and are working to find a compromise solution that will achieve the sponsors goals without affecting state employees.

Compensation of adjunct professors

SB0775 Sen. Yarbro
HB0707 Rep. Thompson
Requires the board of regents, the board of trustees of the University of Tennessee, and the state university boards to create and approve a policy requiring public institutions of higher education to compensate adjunct professors at least $1,000 per credit hour taught.

Reports on the effects of and plans for reductions in federal funding

SB0662 Sen. Watson
HB1270 Rep. Holt
Requires certain state agencies and political subdivisions prepare and submit reports to the department of finance and administration regarding the effects of and plans for reductions in federal funding.
Set for House State Committee 03/05/19

Creation of deaf mentor pilot project

SB0310 Sen. Massey
HB0567 Rep M. White
Requires the Tennessee School for the Deaf, together with the West Tennessee School for the Deaf, to establish a two-year deaf mentor pilot project to assist families and agencies in implementing bilingual and bicultural home-based programming for young children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. Requires the department of education to evaluate the pilot project and report its findings to the education committees of the senate and the house.
Set for Senate Education Committee 03/06/19

Report on higher education opportunities for incarcerated individuals

SB1061 Sen. Dickerson
HB1303 Rep. Baum
Requires corrections department, in partnership with the higher education commission and the board of regents, develop and submit to the general assembly a report detailing the higher education opportunities available to incarcerated individuals. Broadly captioned.
Set for House Corrections Subcommittee 03/05/19

Expands the offense of indecent exposure in a penal institution

SB0080 Sen. Rosalind
HB0127 Rep. Hodges
Expands the offense of indecent exposure by those confined in a penal institution to include offenses against staff members employed by the institution, including clergy, educators, and medical professionals.
Set for House Judiciary Committee 03/06/19

Addresses salary increases or decreases for employees of the general assembly

SB0814 Sen. Akbari
HB0142 Rep. Parkinson
Requires the salaries of all employees of the general assembly to be reflective of percentage pay increases or decreases for members of the general assembly. Any adjustments occurring do not go into effect until the election of the next general assembly.
Set for House Public Service & Employee Subcommittee 03/06/19

TCRS – revisions to optional retirement program

SB0633 Sen. Watson  
HB1022 Rep. Lynn
Prohibits a current early service retiree from changing to disability retirement. Makes other changes to provisions governing TCRS.
Set for Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee 03/05/19

Service credits and salary increases for assistant public defenders and district attorneys

SB0799 Sen. Johnson
HB0943 Rep. Lamberth
Reinstates service credits and salary increases suspended during 2003-2004 and 2009-2010 for assistant public defenders and assistant district attorneys.
Set for Senate Judiciary Committee 03/05/19
Set for House Criminal Justice Subcommittee 03/06/19

Proton Therapy Access Act

SB0195 Sen. Massey
HB0184 Rep. Smith
Enacts the “Proton Therapy Access Act,” which requires health insurance coverage to cover hypofractionated proton therapy in the same manner as it covers intensity modulated radiation therapy under certain conditions, including patients being a part of a clinical trial or registry.
Set for Joint Council on Pensions and Insurance 03/04/19


Reminder, the House Higher Education subcommittee meets Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. and is live-streamed from the legislature’s website.

The Full House State Committee and Senate State and Local Committee meet Tuesday’s at 10:30 a.m. and can also be live streamed from the legislative website.

For live-streaming committee hearings, calendars, and other legislative information, visit the Legislature’s website here:
http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/

Comments are closed.