Legislative Update: Week Ending 4-30-2021

TSEA April 30, 2021 Comments Off on Legislative Update: Week Ending 4-30-2021
Legislative Update: Week Ending 4-30-2021

Yesterday, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the FY2021/2022 state budget, including funding for state employee performance raises, bonuses, benefit increases, and various salary adjustments. They will return for a few days next week to finish up any remaining business, and this year’s legislative session will be over.

There was a very informative discussion about the budget earlier in the week during the Senate Finance Committee. If you are interested in viewing that discussion, visit the link below and select SB0912 in the index on the left side of the page.


State Budget passes including significant funding for state employees

“It has been an incredibly challenging year, but today is a good day for state employees,” TSEA Executive Director Randy Stamps said. “This year’s budget passed by the Tennessee General Assembly invests approximately a half-billion dollars in state and higher education employees, and we are grateful to all the legislators and the governor for recognizing and rewarding the dedicated and hard-working men and women serving Tennessee.”

A few budget Highlights include:

• TEAM Act Performance Pay pool
• TEAM Act Performance Bonus pool
• Non-TEAM Act Salary Pool
• Higher Education salary pool
• Market Rate Adjustment
• A $250 million lump-sum payment to the Legacy Pension Plan for State Employees

Details on actual percentage amounts for raises will become available in the coming weeks. Still, we anticipate 4-percent raises for state employees (2-percent retroactive to Jan 2021 and 2-percent in Jan 2022).

In addition, the budget also includes funding for the following:

• Probation and Parole Salary Adjustments
•  DCS caseworker series adjustments
•  Park employees salary adjustments (selected positions)
•  TCRS rate increase for Retirees
•  Fully funding the state portion (80-percent) of our State Group Health Insurance Plan
•  Fully funding our OPEB liability (funding for future and present retiree insurance benefits),
•  Backpay for Legislative, Comptroller, and Treasury employees to align with executive branch state employees
•  Funding for a significant number of projects at Higher Education campuses and State Parks throughout the state

Again, specific details about the amounts employees will receive will become clearer in the coming weeks. But the legislature just allocated a historic amount of money for state workers, and we are incredibly grateful to the members of the TN General Assembly, Governor Lee, and his administration for this unprecedented investment in state employees.

The budget now awaits Governor Lee’s signature and will take effect on July 1, 2021. TSEA will continue to analyze the figures and meet with your department leadership to learn additional details about the funding headed your way. This is a great budget for state employees!

Thank you for being a member of TSEA! We can all be proud of what we accomplished together.

Bill Status for TSEA Legislative Agenda Bills:

SB0361 | HB0954  
Burden of Proof
Sponsors: Sen. Hensley, Rep. Littleton
Cosponsors: Sen. Yager
Summary: Requires a state agency in a proceeding to suspend, terminate, or discipline an employee in state service to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the employee violated state law or a rule or policy of the agency prior to taking such action
Senate Status: 3-23-2021 – Failed in Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee
House Status: 3-31-2021 – Returned to the Clerk’s Desk

SB0516 | HB1016  
Match on 401(k)
Sponsor: Sen. Briggs, Rep. Hicks 
Summary: Increases from $40 to $50 the minimum amount that the state will match to an employee’s optional retirement plan
Senate Status: 4-22-2021 – Companion House Bill substituted
House Status: 4-30-2021 – Signed by House Speaker

SB0022 | HB1114
Child care authorization
Sponsor: Sen. Kyle, Rep. Leatherwood
Cosponsor: Sen. Gardenhire, Rep. Cooper
Summary: Requires the Department of Human Services to approve, administer, and coordinate child care services for the children of state officers and employees
Senate Status: 4-28-2021 – Signed by Governor
House Status: 4-14-2021 – Companion Senate Bill Substitute

SB1520 | HB1540
Pension Transfer
Sponsor: Sen. Roberts, Rep. Weaver
Summary: Allows any member of the Tennessee consolidated retirement system to obtain creditable service for prior service while a participating member of a city, metropolitan government, or county retirement system
Senate Status: 4-30-2021 – Signed by House Speaker
House Status: 4-27-2021 – Companion Senate Bill Substitute

SB0402 | HB0414
Restore Longevity for all
Sponsor: Sen. Jackson, Rep. Sparks
Summary: Restores longevity pay for employees of the executive branch in the service of the state hired after June 30, 2015
Senate Status: 2-10-2021 – Passed on Second Consideration, refer to Senate State and Local Government Committee
House Status: 2-10-2021 – Passed on Second Consideration, refer to State Government Committee; Assigned to subcommittee Public Service Subcommittee

SB1601 | HB1205
Increase to 401(k)
Sponsor: Sen. Bailey, Rep. Lamberth
Summary: Replaces the name of the “consolidated retirement board” with “board of trustees of the consolidated retirement system,” for purposes of the Tennessee consolidated retirement system
Senate Status: 4-29-2021 – Placed on Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee calendar for 5-3-2021
House Status: 4-28-2021 – Placed on subcommittee calendar Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee for 5-3-2021