Legislative Update: 1-31-2020

TSEA February 4, 2020 Comments Off on Legislative Update: 1-31-2020
Legislative Update: 1-31-2020

Middle TN Legislative Dinner

Thursday’s Legislative Dinner in Nashville was a great success. We had a great turnout of TSEA members who showed up to express their concerns, speak to their legislators and support TSEA’s legislative agenda.

TSEA would like to express our sincere gratitude to the legislators who attended Thursday’s Middle TN legislative event. Those legislators include Chairman Steven Dickerson (Nashville), Chairman Susan Lynn (Mt. Juliet), Leader Jeff Yarbro (Nashville), Rep. Harold Love, and Rep. Vincent Dixie. We appreciate these legislators for taking time out of their day to visit with state employees.

Upcoming Legislative Events

Legislative Dinner
Thursday, February 13
6:00 pm
No Way Jose’s Cantina
1836 W Andrew Johnson Hwy
Morristown, TN 37814

Hamilton County
Legislative Dinner
Thursday, Feb. 20
6:00 p.m.
Golden Corral
808 Gunbarrel Rd
Chattanooga, TN 37421

Northeast TN
Legislative Breakfast
Saturday, February 22
8:00 a.m.
TN College of Applied Tech
Administration Bldg.
426 Hwy 91 North
Elizabethton, TN 37643

To RSVP to one of our upcoming legislative events,
visit this link: http://bit.ly/TSEA_RSVP.

Please RSVP at least one-week prior to the event you plan to attend.

We will hold more legislative events in 2020. To stay up to date, sign up for our emails at tseaonline.org.

Legislative Update

This week TSEA’s lobbying team continued to secure sponsors for our bills.

We are pleased to let members know the sponsors for our bill to increase the 401(k) match. Our House Sponsor will be Chairman of Finance Ways and Means Subcommittee Gary Hicks (Rogersville), and our Senate Sponsor, a long time champion of state employees, is Senator Richard Briggs (Knoxville).

This week we also held productive meetings with Senate State and Local Government Chairman Steven Dickerson (Nashville) and Senate Finance Chairman Bo Watson (Chattanooga).

We met with Sen. Sara Kyle (Memphis) and the Department of Human Services to finalize plans to present Sen. Kyle’s state employee daycare bill. Senator Kyle’s passion for this benefit for state employees is infectious, and with the help of the administration, we are confident good things will happen.

The Governor’s State of the State address is scheduled for Monday, February 3 at 6 p.m. During the speech, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee will lay out his agenda for the year, and we will get the first glimpse at his proposed FY2020-FY2021 budget.

We expect Gov. Lee will include many of the department budget requests, as well as sufficient funding for performance raises and market study continuations. Also, we believe he will fully fund TCRS, and request the premiums necessary to continue state coverage of health insurance for state and higher education employees and retirees.

TSEA Bills

Burden of Proof
TSEA believes the State of Tennessee bears the burden of proof when taking disciplinary action against an employee. This bill would clarify the relevant language in state statute.

SB0621 Senator Hensley (Hohenwald)
Co-Prime Sponsor: Senator Yager (Kingston)
HB 0644 Representative Timothy Hill (Blountville)

Status: Senate State and Local Committee deferred to summer study (last action taken at the end of session in 2019)
House Calendar and Rules Committee most likely 2/6/2020

Longevity for All
TSEA believes employees should not be divided into two classifications for pay. The first step in correcting this is to restore longevity for all state employees.

SB0689 Senator Jackson (Jackson)
HB 0900 Representative Mike Sparks (Murfreesboro)
Prime Co – Sponsors: Timothy Hill (Blountville), Debra Moody (Covington), David Hawk (Waynesboro), Dan Howell (Georgetown), Jerome Moon (Maryville), Matthew Hill (Jonesborough), and Rick Staples (Knoxville)

Status: Senate State and Local Committee deferred to summer study (last action taken at the end of session in 2019)
House Finance Subcommittee

Increase in the match on the 401(k)
TSEA believes that an increase in the match on the 401(k) is appropriate and will increase participation in the program. The last increase was in 2007.

SB1773 Sen. Briggs (Knoxville)
HB2045 Rep. Hicks (Rogersville)

Daycare for employees
A pilot program in Davidson County that will help provide day care to state employees with the hope that success will lead to expansion of the program state wide.

SB0741 Sen. Kyle (Memphis)
HB 1207 Rep. Mitchell (Nashville)
Daycare for state employees administered through their departments or institution.

Status: Awaiting sponsors to put on notice

Bills TSEA supports
(We will add additional bills to this list as Legislative session continues)

Funeral expenses for correctional employees
Authorizes the Department of Correction to contribute state funds toward the funeral expenses of any correctional employee killed in the line of duty.

SB1578 Sen. Steven Dickerson (Nashville)
Prime Co-Sponsors: Sen. Ed Jackson (Jackson), Sen. Ken Yager (Kingston), Sen. Rusty Crowe (Johnson City), Sen. Jeff Yarbro (Nashville)
HB1615 Rep. Bud Hulsey (Kingsport)
Prime Co-Sponsors: Rep. Chris Hurt (Halls), Rep. Bruce Griffey (Paris)