The last two weeks of the 110th General Assembly have positioned TSEA in a positive place moving forward. This week, our legislative agenda begins to ramp up significantly.
Below are a couple highlights from the last two weeks, and information on what to watch this week.
House Finance passes Contract Accountability bill
The House Finance Committee last week (2/20/18) passed an amended version of HB944, the Contract Accountability and Responsible Employment (CARE) Act, on to the Calendar and Rules Committee.
The week prior, the Senate passed the companion bill, SB1047, by unanimous vote https://tseaonline.org/senate-unanimously-passes-contract-accountability-bill/
About the bill:
SB1047/HB944 is sponsored by Sen. Janice Bowling and Rep. Tilman Goins, was studied extensively over the summer, and is part of TSEA’s legislative agenda.
In summary, this bill as amended states that if a contract for services between a state agency and a private party is in excess of two and one-half million dollars and results in a furlough or layoff for 1 or more state employees, the agency must provide an economic impact statement (EIS) to the fiscal review committee. For the purposes of this section of code, “state agency” also includes institutions of higher education.
This EIS shall be submitted to fiscal review for distribution to the members of the general assembly no less than 45 days prior to the execution of the contract.
The chair of fiscal review may then schedule a hearing to review the EIS.
A state agency notified of an EIS hearing shall provide the fiscal review committee, upon request, any information reasonably related to the proposed contract that the committee deems relevant; provided, that a state agency is not required to produce privileged information or any record that is not open for public inspection pursuant to state law.
This bill applies only to contracts procured on and after the effective date of this act.
Senate says no to House amendment on DCS caseload bill
On Monday 2/12/18 the Senate voted to not concur with a House amendment placed on SB1168 which changed the language of the bill from “not more than 20” to “the average of 20”. To view the Senate’s vote, follow this link: https://goo.gl/gZ5Pzi
The Senate passed SB1168 last year; however, it was amended in the House this year, so the bill had returned to the Senate where it was originally passed for action on the amendment.
SB1168 would require the Department of Children’s Services to maintain staffing levels of case managers so that each region has enough case managers to allow caseloads to be at not more than:
(1) Twenty (20) active cases relating to initial assessments, including investigations of an allegation of child abuse or neglect; or
(2) Twenty (20) children monitored and supervised in active cases relating to ongoing services
Since the Senate voted last Monday not to concur with the House amendment, the bill goes back to the House and the motion there is that the House either recede or refuse to recede from its position in adopting the amendment.
If there is a refusal to recede, it then becomes necessary to appoint conference committees, consisting usually of at least three members of each house, to meet and attempt to reconcile the differences between the two houses on the bill or to recommend a course of action agreeable to both houses.
HB972/SB1168 is sponsored by Rep. Courtney Rogers and Sen. Joey Hensley, and is part of TSEA’s legislative agenda.
State Revenues for January
The state last week announced total tax Revenues for January 2018 totaled $1.4 billion. This total is 3.18 percent less than revenues received in the same time period one year ago, and $25 million less than budgeted.
The FY18 year-to-date revenues for 6 months were $185.1 million more than the budgeted estimate.
Read the full release here:
On Tap This Week
Several bills that are part of our legislative agenda are on calendar this week.
If you can only watch one committee this week, Wednesday’s House State Government Subcommittee is the one to watch.
Click Here for the calendar of legislative bills and committees to watch for the week of 2-26-18.
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