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Feb 24, 2019

Legislative Update Feb 24, 2019, 9:39pm - NMAER Russell Goff


Greetings!

Last Friday, NMAER participated in "Senior Day" activities at the State Capitol. We joined a number of other non-profit organizations in celebrating this day. Our day included a table with  information on NMAER, thank you notes and candies for Legislative Offices and listening to the House and Senate PASSING, House Memorial 5, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Stapleton, & Senate Memorial 70, sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart, in their respective chambers. These Memorials declared Friday, February 22, 2019 as NMAER Day, acknowledged our AAL's and the "tidbits" of information they provide legislators, and recognized the over $7.6 million dollar value of volunteer service by retired educators in 2018. Special thanks to Gary Williams & DeAnza Sapien, AARP, Roger & Terry Greer, Virginia Hamilton, Pauline Rindone, City Different Retired Educators Association, Rebecca Baca, Sue Griffith & Richard Romero, & other NMAER Executive Board members. Congratulations on a "job well done."

On the legislative side HB 2, General Appropriations Act, was PASSED by the House on a 46-23 vote. Unfortunately, additional monies requested to fund HB 95, Retiree Health Care Authority, were not included in the bill.

There are still some discussions going on behind the scenes to address the issue, but for now HB 2 goes to the Senate Finance Committee and then on to the Senate Floor. We have not stopped and will continue to work toward getting these additional funds for HB 95 approved. Thanks for ALL who reached out and called the House Leadership team. We will have more information on our next steps shortly.

As of February 22, 2019 there have been 1597 bills introduced. The House has passed 140 bills, memorials & resolutions, while the Senate has passed 157 bills, memorials & resolutions. The Governor has signed 43 bills into law.

Here are the bills we are following and their status:

> Budget

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. The LFC budget is slightly higher than the Governor's recommendation. HB 2 was passed on a 46-23 vote and has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

> Pension

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. This week SB 14 was heard in Senate Education Committee and was given a DO PASS. It has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. The American Federation of Teachers Union indicated during the hearing that they would propose an amendment to reduce contributions for those making less that

$24,000 to 7.9% and eliminate the proposed minimum retirement age of 58 for those maintenance workers doing heavy work and with 25-30 years of service. SB 14 received a DO PASS in the Senate Education Committee and has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for it's next hearing. THIS BILL WAS NOT HEARD THIS WEEK.

HB 50, Audit Review by Board of Finance, Rep. Rudy Martinez, Rep. Abbas Akhill & Rep. William "Bill" Pratt. This bill would require ERB, PERA & Office of the Treasurer to submit annual financial records to DFA for review. This bill is part of "Rocket Docket" Legislative Package. HB 50 received a DO PASS in the House Judiciary Committee and the House passed the bill 60 - 7. It received a DO PASS in Senate Finance Committee and the Senate passed the bill 49-0. HB 50 HAS BEEN SIGNED INTO LAW.

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. SB57 received a DO PASS in the Senate Public Affairs and Senate Finance Committee and is now on the Senate calendar.

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 passed the House 68-0. HB 97 received a DO PASS in the  Senate Public Affairs Committee and passed the Senate 41-0. HB 97 HAS BEEN SIGNED INTO LAW.

SB 157, Sick Leave for  Educational Retirement Credit, Sen. William Soules. This bill is part of the "Rocket Docket"

Legislative Package. It allows ERB members to convert sick leave to service credit. SB 157 received a DO PASS in the Senate Education Committee and the Senate passed the bill 39-0. SB 157 received a DO PASS in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee and the House passed the bill

52- 15.SB 157 HAS BEEN SIGNED INTO LAW AND IS EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2020.

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 & Administration.

SB 235 has been referred to the Senate Public Affairs Committee. THIS BILL WAS NOT HEARD THIS WEEK.

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 on the  House State Government, Elections & Indian Affairs Committee calendar. THE GOVERNOR HAS ESTABLISHED A NINETEEN PERSON TASK FORCE TO ADDRESS PERA PENSION ISSUES. A REPORT IS DUE TO THE GOVERNOR IN AUGUST 2019

HB 360a, Educational Retirement Changes, Rep. Tomas Salazar. This bill provides changes to improve the sustainability of the Fund in a thirty year period. It is the House version of SB 14 and is currently on the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee calendar. HB360 received a unanimous  DO PASS in the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee.  This bill was amended to remove the settlement agreement from the 2008 lawsuit w American Federation, State, County & Municipal Employees on contributions swaps. HB 360 has been referred to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. THIS BILL WAS NOT HEARD THIS WEEK.

SB 439, Educational Retirement Board Membership. Sen, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez. This bill would change the composition of the Educational Retirement Board from seven to nine members. The current composition includes the Secretary of Public Education or her designee, Rep. of National Education Association, Rep. of New Mexico Association of Educational Retirees, Rep. of American Association of University Professors, State Treasurer or his designee, and two Governor appointees with investment experience. The new composition would include the above and add a Rep. from the American Federation of Teachers Union, and one additional Governor Rep. with public education experience. SB 439 has been referred to the Senate Education Committee. SB 439 received a DO PASS in the Senate Education Committee on a party line vote. The concern by the "R's is the additional seat given to the Governor. The bill has been referred to the Senate Public Affairs Committee. THIS BILL WAS NOT  HEARD THIS WEEK.

HB 501, Increase Certain PERA & ERB Contributions, Rep. Jim Trujillo, Rep.

Micaela Lara Cadena & Rep Sheryl Stapleton. This bill would increase the employer contributions for ERB & PERA by .05%. For PERA the rate would increase from 16.99 to 17.49%. For ERB the rate would increase from 13.9 to 14.4%. This is similar to the Executive recommendation. HB 501 received a DO PASS in the House State Government, Election and Indian Affairs Committee and has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee.

>Health Care

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 in the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee and will be heard on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. HB 95 received a unanimous DO PASS in the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee. The bill has been referred to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. THIS BILL WAS NOT HEARD THIS WEEK.

>Memorials

HM 5, New Mexico Association of Education Retiree Day, Rep. Sheryl Stapleton. HM 5 passed the House on a 70-0 vote. .

SM 70, New Mexico Association of Education Retiree Day, Sen. Mimi Stewart.

SM 70 passed the Senate on a 43-0 vote..

>Other

HB 141, State Disclosure of Information, Rep Miguel P. Garcia,.This bill would prohibit state agency employees from disclosing "sensitive personal information," including a persons name. HB 141 received a DO PASS in the House State Government, Election & Indian Affairs Committee.  HB 141 Committee Substitute (CS) received a DO PASS in the House Judiciary and is now on the House calendar.

SB 381, Add Public Record Protected Personal ID, Sen Pete Campos. This bill would prohibit the release of an email address and "any other unique identifier from which the identify of a person may be reasonably determined. SB 381 has been referred to the Senate Public Affairs Committee. THIS BILL WAS NOT HEARD THIS WEEK.

*SB 449, 5-Year Literacy Initiative, Rep. Roberto "Bobbie" Gonzales, Rep.

Susan Herrera, Rep. Christine Trujillo, & Rep. Anthony Allison. This would conduct a five-year, statewide Literacy Initiative for children and adults. HB 449 received a DO PASS in House Education Committee and has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee.

In closing,  thank you for your SUPPORT.  We appreciate your help this past week in requesting additional funding for HB 95, Retiree Health Care Authority. We will continue to keep you informed.

Have a great week!

"Remember, don't take your benefits for granted."

Stay tuned!

Russell Goff
NMAER

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