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Legislative update week of May 2
Updated On: Jun 09, 2017
Hello Local Presidents,
Legislative Update Week of May 2nd
2010 Legislative Session
There was A LOT going on at the State House the week! As always, if you have any questions please feel free to email or give me a call. I look forward to seeing you at convention next week!
All last week and this week the House Finance committee was working on an amendment SB450, which will serve as the vehicle for the House position on cuts, revenue and expenditures. Late Tuesday night the committee decided to include a 1.7% increase in retirement contributions for active group II members. This increase had originally been passed by the committee as part of HB 1664 a few months ago, but the bill was laid on the table in order to wait for SB450. The increase was adopted on SB450 with a committee vote of 13-11.
However, after the hard work of our PFFNH nenbers/State Reps, the committee introduced a last minute amendment to remove the increase from the overall bill. Deemed a "bill killer" the increase was removed by a vote of 13-12 when Representative Tom Buco-D, Conway changed his vote to remove the increase. If you have a moment, write a quick email to Representative Buco and thank him for voting to not increase the employee contribution.
Representative Neal Kurk-R, Weare introduced the increase and a few other amendments that pertained to retirement. One amendment would have changed the definition of earnable compensation to base pay, capped an employees pension at 75% of their highest year of pay, raised the age of retirement to 50 and changed the multiplier to 2% all for new hires. Another amendment he introduced created a scale that dictated what portion of the employees pension the employee would be responsible for. If the employee’s yearly pension was between $1-12,000 a year the employer would pay the full cost, if the employees pension was between $12,000-18,000 the employee and the employer would each pay half and if the employee earned over $18,000 for their pension they would be responsible for the full cost. All of Representative Kurk’s amendments failed.
SB 450 now travels to the floor with no impact on employee pensions. The bill does include some drastic cuts, layoffs and some new revenues in the form of an estate tax, smokeless tobacco tax, and an insurance premium tax. You can view the full amendment here:
Both the House and Senate introduced amendments to bills that concerned regulating and capping the reserves of public risk pools. This of course brought on major pressure from the LGC who testified that these bills and regulations are wholly unnecessary. The House voted down the amendment in committee 13-12 but the Senate heard 6 hours of testimony on Thursday and will decide on an outcome by Tuesday. We are very pleased that the House and Senate have chosen to take a look at the LGC through these amendments. As you well know PFFNH has been taking on this fight for the last eight years and we’re glad someone in the public arena has to decided to take a closer look.
The House ED&A committee passed HB 504, which extends the 125% rule to July 1, 2011 by a vote of 14-5. The same committee also voted for an amendment that would stop the ability for out of state employees who come to work in New Hampshire to buy service credit in the retirement system. This was a strange vote since when out of state employees buy service credits they pay the full cost and it goes directly into the core of the fund. The Senate sponsor Lou D’Allesandro has made it clear he will non concur with this amendment and kill the bill.
The House Science and Tech Committee voted almost unanimously to study the response times of the enhanced 911 system with a sanctioned legislative study committee. The aim of the committee is to study if calls that are transferred from 911 to your stations meet the national standard.
These bills will be voted on by the full House next Wednesday.