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News From the Capitol, Nov. 10, 2023
November 10, 2023 by MASB Government Relations
  • Senate Approves Changing the New Hire Retirement System Default   
  • House Approves Bill Requiring Personal Information Disclosure  
  • House Approves Changes to Stop Arm Camera Law
  • Legislature Adjourns for the Year

 

Senate Approves Changing the New Hire Retirement System Default   

On Wednesday, the Senate passed House Bill 5021 which would amend the Public School Employees Retirement Act to set the default retirement plan to Tier 1, the pension hybrid plan. A new hire to a school district is required to choose a retirement plan within 75 days of their hire date. Currently, if the teacher has not selected a plan within that window, they default to a 401k, or the Tier 2 elective.  

HB5021 was passed by a vote of 21-14. MASB supports the bill, and it now heads to the Governor for her consideration and approval.  

House Approves Bill Requiring Personal Information Disclosure  

The House passed Senate Bill 169 on Thursday by a vote of 56-51. This bill requires a public employer to share the personal information of a new employee including personal email, address, phone, wages and other information with the union bargaining unit. MASB understands that unions representing these employees need to be able to know who they are, but we opposed the bill as an unwarranted invasion of privacy and had suggested instead to allow employees to sign off on sharing the information. Unfortunately, that change was not made.

SB169 now goes to the Governor for her consideration.

House Approves Changes to Stop Arm Camera Law

In 2021, the Pupil Transportation Act was amended to allow stop-arm camera systems on school buses. House Bills 4928-4930 amend the laws around this issue. The bills would increase fines and redirect potential revenue from tickets for passing a stopped school bus from libraries to schools. This fits the business model of one particular vendor, who then encourages the revenue from these fines to be used to pay for the camera system. This does not create consistent revenue to cover the costs of the equipment, nor should it be taken from our libraries. 

MASB does not support the shift in fine allocation. Also, current law already allows a school to install and operate a stop-arm camera system or enter into a contract with a private vendor to do it.  Therefore, these bills are unnecessary and may make changes that limit the available vendors.

The bills were passed by a vote of 81-26 and now go to the Senate.

Legislature Adjourns for the Year

As has been rumored for months, Thursday was the last day of session in both the House and Senate for 2023. A resolution was passed by both chambers establishing Tuesday, Nov 14 as Sine Die. This means no further work can be done this year and starts the 90-day clock on when bills that were not given immediate effect will become law.

One of the reasons the Legislature has adjourned so early is that two Democrat state representatives won their mayoral elections on Tuesday. Once they resign, which should be soon, the House will be at a 54-54 split. Under House rules adopted in January, the Democrats will retain control, however, to pass any legislation, they will need 55 votes.

The Legislature will officially return on January 10, but the House is not expected to meet much right away.  Committee meetings and budget work can start, but until special elections are held to bring the House back to 110 members, we don't expect much floor action.  The Senate may return to business as usual.

With the Legislature adjourned, News From the Capitol will not be published each week. But as always, please contact us if you have any questions.

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