The focus of this past week seemed to be on the hearing's on the 48 bills that are part of the "Rocket Docket" legislative package. As indicated last week these are bills passed in both chambers last year by large majorities, but were vetoed by the Governor. These bills are being heard in one committee and then sent to the House or Senate floor for a vote.
Another key highlight was in the Senate Education Committee where the committee gave a DO PASS on Senate Bill 1. This bill provides a wide range of changes to public education including raises to the teacher salary tiers, increases the amount of money for at-risk student resources, extends funding sources for extending learning time, adds additional instructional days, professional development days and after school programs.
As indicated in a previous email, HB 95 (RHCA Bill) is NOT being heard in the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee on Monday, January 28, 2019. It is tentatively scheduled to be heard on Friday, Feb 1 or Saturday, Feb 2 in the House State Government, Elections & Indian Affairs Committee. Please continue to call and urge Committee members to support HB 95. Don't let them forget our bill.
The number of bills introduced rose again this week. As of January 26, 2019, there have been 884 bills introduced.
Here are the bills we are following and their status:
HB 2, General Appropriations Act of 2019, Rep Patricia Lundstrom. This bill authorizes expenditures by State Agencies as required by law. The HAFC subcommittee approved the LFC recommendation for FY20. LFC budget is slightly higher than the Governor's recommendation.
SB 14, Educational Retirement Changes, Sen. Stuart Ingle & Rep Tomas Salazar. To ensure fiscal strength and long-term sustainability, this bill requests eight changes to achieve full funding in a 30 year period.
Currently, SB 14 is on the calendar in Senate Education Committee. SB 14 will be heard on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 in Senate Education Committee.
HB 50, Audit Review by Board of Finance, Rep. Rudy Martinez. This bill would require ERB, PERA & Office of the Treasurer to submit annual financial records to DFA for review. This bill is part of the fast track legislation package. Currently, HB 50 is in the Senate Finance Committee.
SB 57, Additional Reports by Board of Finance, Sen. Sander Rue. This bill would require ERB, Office of the Treasurer, PERA and SIC to provide additional information as part of the annual financial audit process. SB
57 received a DO PASS in the Senate Public Affairs and is now in the Senate Finance Committee.
HB 97, Local Government Investment Pool Participants, Rep. Tomas Salazar.
This bill is part of the "Rocket Docket" legislative package and would amend current law to specifically allow ERB, PERA and SIC to participate in the Office of State Treasurer's Local Government Investment Pool. HB 97 received a DO Pass in the House Judiciary Committee and the full House and is now in the Senate Public Affairs Committee.
SB 157, Sick Leave for Educational Retirement Credit, Sen. William Soules. This bill is part of the "Rocket Docket" legislation package. It allows ERB members to convert sick leave to service credit. SB 157 received a DO PASS in the Senate Education Committee, a 39-0 vote on the Senate Floor and is in the House Taxation & Revenue Committee.
SB 235, Investment Performance Based Compensation, Sen Munoz. This bill would allow ERB & PERA Boards to set compensation, including incentive based compensation for certain investment staff, thus eliminating the current requirement of compensation increases for exempt staff being approved by the Department of Finance & Adm. SB 235 has been referred to the Senate Public Affairs Committee.
HB 338, PERA Board Retirement Changes. Rep Tomas Salazar. This bill addresses the actuarial solvency of the PERA Fund and recommended changes. HB 338 is currently in House State Government, Elections & Indian Affairs Committee.
HB 360, Educational Retirement Changes, Rep. Tomas Salazar. This bill provides changes to improve the sustainability of the Fund in a thirty year period. This bill is the House version of SB 14. It is currently on the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee calendar.
HB 95, Retire Health Care Fund Contributions, Rep. Tomas Salazar.
This bill would incrementally increase rates of the Employee and Employer to the Retiree Health Care Fund. HB 95 is on the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee Calendar and is scheduled to be heard on Friday, February 1, 2019 or Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019.
HM 5, New Mexico Association of Education Retiree Day, Rep. Sheryl Stapleton. HM 5 Is currently on the House calendar.
In closing, we very much appreciate all the calls to the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee. They have told us they received a large number of calls. While it appears that we have some support on the committee, we can't assume anything. We need to continue the calls. We also understand that SB 14, may be heard this week in the same committee. We will keep you informed.
Have a great week!
"Remember don't take your benefits for granted."
Link to SB 14 Fact sheet