May 25, 2012
A message to ULM faculty and staff from ULM President Nick J. Bruno
Please find below the latest report from the UL System on legislative activities. I have highlighted those of interest to us.
SB303: The gun bill passed the House (77-22) and now returns to the Senate for concurrence in the House amendments.
SB20: Retiree rehire was signed by the Governor and became ACT 228. The bill authorizes retirees to be rehired as adjunct professors without suspending their benefits, as long as their earnings do not exceed 25% of their retirement benefits.
SB583- transfers property from DHH to GSU and LTU was signed by the Governor and became ACT 236.
We are awaiting final actions on the Governor’s retirement package.
The retirement bills SB47 (FAC), SB52 (employee contribution) and SB740 (COLAs) are all pending final passage on the House Floor.
SB52 was amended in committee to revise amendments which had been adopted on the Senate Floor. The bill now provides that the phased in increase will not become effective until the employee has received a 4% increase in base pay (as opposed to a 4% merit increase) and further that the increases will be suspended once the systems reach an actuarial funded level of 80%.
SB47 provides for the calculation of the final average compensation. As it currently stands the bill phases in the increase of three years to five years one month at a time over a two year period beginning July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015. Members entering DROP during this period will be subject to 36 months plus the number of months from July 1, 2013 to their DROP entry date. The bill continues to exempt hazardous duty plan members and K-12 employees.
SB740 provides COLAs for retirees. The bill proposes two LASERS accounts for hazardous duty and rank and file employees. COLAs may be granted to hazardous duty members if the investments earnings exceed 8%; but rank and file employees may only be granted COLAs once the system has reached an actuarial funded level of 80%. The bill proposes two TRSL accounts for higher education members and K-12 members. COLAs may be granted to K-12 members if the investments earnings exceed 8.25%; but higher education employees may only be granted COLAs once the system has reached an actuarial funded level of 80%.
HB61 (cash balance plan) is pending on the House Floor for concurrence in the Senate amendments.
SB749 (Age Eligbility) is still hanging on the Senate “Subject to Call” calendar. Unless the provisions are amended onto another bill, the proposal appears dead for the session.
We are also awaiting final actions on the appropriation / capital outlay bills
Senate Finance will be meeting on Monday at 9am to discuss and report HB1.
Senate Reveue and Fiscal Affairs will be meeting Monday at 2pm to discuss HB2.
HB3- the Bond Authorization bill- is still pending final passage in the House.
Also of interest, Rep Kleckly and Sen Donahue have both filed a resolution (HR169 and SR128) to authorize the withdrawal of $204.7 million from the Rainy Day Fund to address the revenue shortfall for FY11/12. The resolutions have not yet been scheduled for debate.
Next week’s schedule:
The Senate will convene Monday, May 28 at 4pm.
The House will convene Tuesday, May 29 at 1pm.
Friday, June 1 is the last day for final passage of bills.
Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3 will be concurrence in amendments and conference committee reports.
Monday, June 4 will be concurrence in conference committee reports.
Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D.