Please notice that MDT has a new Field Representative, Raymond Berg.
He is planning to have meet and greets around the state in the near future. Presently he has visited Lewistown, Miles City, and Glendive MDT offices. Raymond would like to meet new leaders or have conversations with members interested in becoming more active. Please feel free to contact Raymond at the Helena Headquarters at 1-800-221-3468 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to assist in scheduling upcoming meetings in your district.
|Below is a list of some of the bills MPEA is following (status as of 1/22/2013)|
|Bill Type – Number||LC Number||Primary Sponsor||Status||Status Date||Short Title|
|HB3||LC0096||Duane Ankney||(H) Referred to Committee — (H) Appropriations||12/19/2012||Supplemental appropriations|
|HB13||LC0106||Kathy Swanson||(H) Hearing — (H) Appropriations||01/23/2013; 2:00 pm, Rm 102||State employee pay plan|
|HB21||LC0328||Rob Cook||(S) Hearing — (S) Finance and Claims||01/22/2013; 5:00 PM, Rm 317||Generally revise statutory appropriation laws|
|HB53||LC0868||Pat Ingraham||(S) Referred to Committee — (S) State Administration||1/18/2013||Revise State Administration and Veteran Affairs statutory duties|
|HB54||LC0199||Pat Ingraham||(H) Scheduled for 3rd Reading||1/22/2013||Revise teacher’s retirement system administrative and tax qualification laws|
|HB74||LC0247||Margaret (Margie) MacDonald||(H) Scheduled for 2nd Reading||1/22/2013||Require disclosure of child abuse to DPHHS to law enforcement in all cases|
|HB75||LC0289||Carolyn Pease-Lopez||(H) Tabled in Committee* — (H) Human Services||1/18/2013||Require DPHHS undertake accreditation process for children and family services|
|HB77||LC0316||Pat Ingraham||(H) Committee Report–Bill Passed as Amended — (H) Local Government||1/22/2013||Revise public assistance laws relating to counties|
|HB78||LC0201||Keith Regier||(H) Hearing — (H) State Administration||01/23/2013; 8:00 AM, Rm 455||Clarify break in service requirements for postretirement employment under TRS|
|HB84||LC0125||Pat Noonan||(H) Hearing — (H) Human Services||01/14/2013; 3:00 PM, Rm 152||Revise 72-hour presumptive eligibility requirements for crisis stabilization|
|HB90||LC0200||Jesse O’Hara||(H) Hearing — (H) Joint Select Committee on Pensions||01/24/2013; 8:00 am, Rm 317ab||Increase university system supplemental contributions rate to TRS|
|HB91||LC0194||Ryan Lynch||(H) Hearing — (H) State Administration||01/21/2013; 9:00 am, Rm 455||Modify and expand public employee 457 deferred compensation program|
|HB95||LC0192||Franke Wilmer||(H) Rereferred to Committee — (H) Joint Select Committee on Pensions||1/18/2013||Require contributions on working retiree compensation|
|HB96||LC0190||Franke Wilmer||(H) Rereferred to Committee — (H) Joint Select Committee on Pensions||1/18/2013||Provide actuarial funding for PERS, HPORS, GWPORS, SRS retirement systems|
|HB97||LC0193||Franke Wilmer||(H) Rereferred to Committee — (H) Joint Select Committee on Pensions||1/18/2013||Cap highest/final average compensation in MPERA retirement systems|
|HB99||LC0122||Pat Noonan||(H) Hearing — (H) Human Services||01/23/2013; 3:00 PM, Rm 152||Appropriate TANF funds for out-of-school food support activities|
|HB100||LC0123||Ron Ehli||(H) Hearing — (H) Human Services||01/18/2013; 3:00 PM, Rm 152||Create a medicaid pay-for-performance pilot project|
|HB108||LC0239||Ted Washburn||(H) Hearing — (H) State Administration||01/16/2013; 8:00 AM, Rm 455||Revise registration and proof of identity requirements for voting|
|HB111||LC0933||Mike Miller||(H) 3rd Reading Passed||1/21/2013||Repeal business equipment tax reduction for value-added manufacturing|
|HB112||LC0198||Jean Price||(H) Hearing — (H) Joint Select Committee on Pensions||01/24/2013; 8:00 am, Rm 317ab||Improve actuarial funding for teachers’ retirement system|
|HB122||LC0191||Bryce Bennett||(H) Hearing — (H) State Administration||01/21/2013; 9:00 AM, Rm 455||Ensure federal IRS qualification of MPERA retirement systems|
|HB126||LC0293||Pat Ingraham||(H) Hearing — (H) State Administration||01/16/2013; 8:00 AM, Rm 455||Generally revise ballot issues and petition statutes|
|HB127||LC0394||Tom Berry||(H) Hearing — (H) Business and Labor||01/17/2013; 9:00 am, Rm 172||Revise unemployment insurance laws|
|HB132||LC0789||Steve Lavin||(S) Hearing — (S) Judiciary||01/25/2013; 9:00 AM, Rm 303||Revise Montana highway patrol use of uniform, title|
|HB134||LC0372||Steve Lavin||(H) Tabled in Committee* — (H) Judiciary||1/11/2013||Define certain investigators in state auditor’s office as peace officers|
|HB162||LC0442||Kelly Flynn||(H) Hearing — (H) Human Services||01/18/2013; 3:00 PM, Rm 152||Revise state employee health insurance program laws|
|HB167||LC0288||Bryce Bennett||(H) Referred to Committee — (H) Joint Select Committee on Pensions||1/18/2013||Generally revise the teachers’ retirement system|
|HB183||LC0599||Clayton Fiscus||(H) Hearing — (H) Education||01/25/2013; 3:00 PM, Rm 137||Emphasize critical thinking in science education|
|HB209||LC1454||Jerry O’Neil||(H) Referred to Committee — (H) State Administration||1/15/2013||Cap salaries of state employees while retirement systems are actuarially unsound|
|HB222||LC0963||Mike Miller||(H) Hearing — (H) State Administration||01/30/2013; 8:00 AM, Rm 455||Authorize secretary of state to remove ineligible candidates from ballot|
|HB226||LC1049||Donald W Jones||(H) Hearing — (H) Business and Labor||01/22/2013; 8:30 am, Rm 172||Exempt computer professionals from overtime pay|
|HB231||LC1435||Brian Hoven||(H) Hearing — (H) Local Government||01/24/2013; 3:00 PM, Rm 172||Revise local government compensation laws related to county sheriff deputies|
|HB240||LC0715||Cary Smith||(H) Referred to Committee — (H) Judiciary||1/17/2013||Clarify constitutional provisions and law related to board of regents/u-system|
|HB253||LC1697||Bill McChesney||(H) Referred to Committee — (H) Joint Select Committee on Pensions||1/18/2013||Increase contributions to the U-System’s Optional Retirement Program|
|SB7||LC0150||Mary Caferro||(S) Hearing — (S) Public Health, Welfare and Safety||01/11/2013; 3:00 PM, Rm 317||Revise Medicaid application process|
|SB12||LC0358||Dave Lewis||(S) Committee Executive Action–Bill Passed — (S) Public Health, Welfare and Safety||2/21/2013||Require temporary appropriation for state group benefit plan expenditures|
|SB14||LC0177||David E Wanzenried||(S) Hearing — (S) Education and Cultural Resources||01/23/2013; 3:00 PM, Rm 303||Provide ANB funding for 19 year olds|
|SB21||LC0219||Ron Arthun||(S) Hearing — (S) Judiciary||01/10/2013; 9:00 AM, Rm 303||Clarify standard for illegal influence of voters|
|SB67||LC0334||Kendall Van Dyk||(S) Committee Report–Bill Passed — (S) State Administration||1/21/2013||Revise certain statutory report requirements to the legislature|
|SB69||LC0151||Edward Walker||(S) Committee Report–Bill Passed as Amended — (S) Public Health, Welfare and Safety||1/22/2013||Revise Medicaid qualification enforcement laws|
|SB82||LC0018||Dave Lewis||(S) Referred to Committee — (H) Joint Select Committee on Pensions||1/19/2013||Require PERS new hires to be in DC plan|
|SB127||LC0010||Edward Buttrey||(S) Bill Not Heard at Sponsor’s Request — (S) Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs||1/17/2013||Revise unemployment law, revise def. of misconduct, revise benefit eligibility|
|SB128||LC0009||Edward Buttrey||(S) Bill Not Heard at Sponsor’s Request — (S) Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs||1/17/2013||Revise when unemployment insurance rates not affected by benefits paid|
|SB129||LC0008||Edward Buttrey||(S) Hearing — (S) Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs||01/22/2013; 9:00 AM, Rm 422||Limit unemployment compensation not subject to income tax to $2400|
|SB131||LC0032||David E Wanzenried||(S) Hearing — (S) Taxation||01/22/2013; 8:00 AM, Rm 405||Constitutional amendment to adopt of the revenue estimate by the legislature|
|SB170||LC0234||Art Wittich||(S) Referred to Committee — (S) Taxation||1/22/2013||Revise income tax rates and the capital gains credit|
|SB174||LC0874||Jim Keane||(S) Introduced||1/22/2013||Authorize alternatives for state agency worker’s compensation coverage|
|SB177||LC0031||David E Wanzenried||(S) Introduced||1/22/2013||Revise laws to require introduction of revenue estimate by the executive branch|
|SJ2||LC1200||Bruce Tutvedt||(S) Filed with Secretary of State||1/22/2013||Revenue estimate pursuant to the Joint Rules of the Legislature|
|Bill Draft No (LC No)||Requested Date||Requestor||Status||Status Date||Short Title|
|LC0020||6/22/2011||Art Wittich||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||1/8/2013||Generally revise collective bargaining laws with public employees|
|LC0036||1/10/2012||David E Wanzenried||(C) Draft in Input/Proofing||1/22/2013||Exempt state permitting programs from vacancy savings requirements|
|LC0049||3/14/2012||Bill McChesney||(C) Draft Delivered to Requester||1/21/2013||Constitutional amendment to revise term limit laws|
|LC0073||4/18/2012||Jason Priest||(C) Draft On Hold||10/29/2012||Require annual disclosure of public employee compensation|
|LC0093||5/1/2012||Anders Blewett||(C) Draft in Legal Review||1/22/2013||Revise laws protecting job applicant/employee privacy related to social media|
|LC0109||5/7/2012||Bill McChesney||(C) Draft On Hold||10/31/2012||Create statewide risk pool and health benefit plan for public schools and coops|
|LC0112||5/8/2012||Edward Walker||(C) Draft in Legal Review||1/22/2013||Eliminate pension eligibility for legislators|
|LC0116||5/8/2012||Edward Walker||(C) Draft On Hold||10/25/2012||Generally revise workers’ compensation laws|
|LC0227||7/6/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft On Hold||9/14/2012||Enact the Madison amendment regarding limited Article V conventions|
|LC0229||7/6/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft On Hold||12/5/2012||Allow right to work|
|LC0230||7/6/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||12/21/2012||Generally revise public union laws to not allow payroll deduction for union dues|
|LC0232||7/6/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft to Requester for Review||1/11/2013||Require local government transparency|
|LC0237||7/6/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft On Hold||11/2/2012||Revise defined benefit plan laws to allow voluntary transfer/conversion|
|LC0303||8/16/2012||David E Wanzenried||(C) Draft On Hold||11/7/2012||Generally revise laws governing teachers’ retirement system|
|LC0304||8/16/2012||David E Wanzenried||(C) Draft On Hold||11/7/2012||Generally revise laws governing public retirement systems|
|LC0305||8/21/2012||Gerald (Jerry) Bennett||(C) Draft Request Received||8/21/2012||Generally revise personal income tax laws|
|LC0337||9/7/2012||Alan Olson||(C) Draft in Legal Review||1/18/2013||Generally revise highway patrol retirement system laws|
|LC0396||9/14/2012||Llew Jones||(C) Draft On Hold||12/15/2012||Provide for at-will employment|
|LC0397||9/14/2012||Llew Jones||(C) Draft On Hold||12/28/2012||Revise worker’s compensation laws|
|LC0422||9/24/2012||Dave Lewis||(C) Draft On Hold||12/14/2012||Establish pilot project for priority budgeting|
|LC0434||9/30/2012||Mary Caferro||(C) Draft On Hold||12/11/2012||Require Medicaid and HMK to cover treatment of autism spectrum disorders|
|LC0441||9/30/2012||Kelly Flynn||(C) Draft in Assembly/Executive Director Review||1/22/2013||Require state coordination with local governments when requested|
|LC0453||10/9/2012||Rob Cook||(C) Draft Back for Requester Changes||1/14/2013||Revise termination and authorization of tax increment financing|
|LC0454||10/9/2012||Rob Cook||(C) Draft On Hold||10/9/2012||Generally revise public employee pension laws|
|LC0455||10/9/2012||Rob Cook||(C) Draft On Hold||10/9/2012||Generally revise public employee pension laws|
|LC0456||10/9/2012||Rob Cook||(C) Draft On Hold||10/9/2012||Generally revise public employee pension laws|
|LC0463||10/9/2012||Mary Caferro||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||1/21/2013||Include domestic violence situations under reason for paid leave|
|LC0464||10/9/2012||Mary Caferro||(C) Draft On Hold||10/29/2012||Revise minimum wage laws|
|LC0468||10/10/2012||Llew Jones||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||1/8/2013||Revise and clarify responsibilities of the board of public education|
|LC0478||10/15/2012||Llew Jones||(C) Draft Taken Off Hold||1/3/2013||Revise laws related to state and federal minimum wage|
|LC0479||10/15/2012||Llew Jones||(C) Draft On Hold||12/31/2012||Revise laws related to tip credits|
|LC0492||10/15/2012||Ted Washburn||(C) Draft in Legal Review||1/22/2013||Revise when ballots may be prepared for counting|
|LC0493||10/15/2012||Ted Washburn||(C) Draft On Hold||12/27/2012||Revise polling place administration laws|
|LC0495||10/15/2012||Ted Washburn||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||12/31/2012||Allowing abbreviated form of certified ballot|
|LC0496||10/15/2012||Ted Washburn||(C) Draft Taken Off Hold||1/21/2013||Eliminate requirement for annual absentee forms|
|LC0498||10/16/2012||David E Wanzenried||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||12/31/2012||Provide for special election to fill US Senate vacancy|
|LC0540||10/23/2012||Ron Arthun||(C) Draft Back for Redo||1/21/2013||Establish cash balance plans in TRS and PERS for new hires and nonvested members|
|LC0549||10/29/2012||Larry Jent||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||12/21/2012||Increase game warden pay with increased nonresident wildlife conservation fee|
|LC0563||10/31/2012||Jason Priest||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||12/21/2012||Require cost-benefit analysis of mandated health insurance coverage of service|
|LC0575||11/2/2012||Alan Olson||(C) Draft Taken Off Hold||12/19/2012||Generally revise laws related to prevailing wage|
|LC0593||11/4/2012||Alan Olson||(C) Draft On Hold||1/15/2013||Revise laws related to health insurance coverages, plans, and programs|
|LC0602||11/7/2012||Austin Knudsen||(C) Draft On Hold||11/7/2012||Revise employment laws|
|LC0610||11/7/2012||Austin Knudsen||(C) Draft On Hold||12/13/2012||Revise laws related to health care provider service payments|
|LC0635||11/8/2012||Dee Brown||(C) Draft in Final Drafter Review||1/7/2013||Establish a workers’ compensation holiday for employers for new hires|
|LC0663||11/8/2012||Scott Reichner||(C) Draft On Hold||11/13/2012||Repeal same day voter registration|
|LC0664||11/8/2012||Scott Reichner||(C) Draft On Hold||11/23/2012||Generally revise medicaid laws|
|LC0668||11/8/2012||Cary Smith||(C) Draft Delivered to Requester||1/22/2013||Authorize choice for out-of-state health care insurance|
|LC0708||11/9/2012||Keith Regier||(C) Draft On Hold||1/3/2013||Revise Montana election laws|
|LC0714||11/10/2012||Clayton Fiscus||(C) Draft Request Received||11/10/2012||Referendum to eliminate a certain amount of the homestead property value|
|LC0799||11/16/2012||Elsie Arntzen||(C) Draft On Hold||11/30/2012||Exempt social security income from state income tax|
|LC0869||11/17/2012||Jim Keane||(C) Draft in Legal Review||1/15/2013||Provide funding for teachers’ retirement system defined benefit plan|
|LC0871||11/17/2012||Jim Keane||(C) Draft On Hold||12/27/2012||Provide funding for the public employees’ retirement system defined benefit plan|
|LC0889||11/17/2012||Randy Brodehl||(C) Draft On Hold||12/19/2012||Revise public employee retirement system laws|
|LC0890||11/17/2012||Randy Brodehl||(C) Draft On Hold||11/20/2012||Revise laws related to public employee unions|
|LC0932||11/20/2012||Roy Hollandsworth||(C) Draft On Hold||12/4/2012||Establish revenue estimate|
|LC0947||11/20/2012||Kirk Wagoner||(C) Draft Delivered to Requester||1/21/2013||Constitutional amendment regarding public employee retirement systems|
|LC0951||11/21/2012||Kris Hansen||(C) Draft On Hold||12/12/2012||Revise at-will employment laws|
|LC0974||11/26/2012||Chuck Hunter||(C) Draft to Requester for Review||1/19/2013||An act to create the Montana health care database|
|LC0976||11/26/2012||Chuck Hunter||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||1/21/2013||Revise university system laws related to credit and military services|
|LC1001||11/26/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft Request Received||11/26/2012||Generally revise health care laws|
|LC1002||11/26/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft On Hold||11/26/2012||Generally revise health insurance laws|
|LC1003||11/26/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft On Hold||11/26/2012||Generally revise unemployment laws|
|LC1004||11/26/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft On Hold||11/27/2012||Generally revise employment laws|
|LC1011||11/26/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft On Hold||11/26/2012||Generally revise workers’ compensation laws|
|LC1024||11/26/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft On Hold||11/26/2012||Generally revise state agency and board organizational laws|
|LC1025||11/26/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft Taken Off Hold||1/17/2013||Generally revise local government laws|
|LC1030||11/26/2012||Art Wittich||(C) Draft On Hold||11/26/2012||Generally revise state government organizational laws|
|LC1047||11/26/2012||Krayton Kerns||(C) Draft On Hold||11/27/2012||Generally nullify the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act|
|LC1048||11/26/2012||Doug Kary||(C) Draft Taken Off Hold||1/3/2013||Revise election laws to allow for mail ballots for all elections|
|LC1051||11/27/2012||Ellie Boldman Hill||(C) Draft to Requester for Review||1/21/2013||Generally revise family law|
|LC1067||11/28/2012||Bryce Bennett||(C) Draft On Hold||12/19/2012||Provide for actuarial funding for public employee’s retirement system|
|LC1068||11/28/2012||Bryce Bennett||(C) Draft On Hold||12/19/2012||Provide for actuarial funding for the sheriff’s retirement system|
|LC1083||11/29/2012||Jim Keane||(C) Draft to Requester for Review||1/10/2013||Provide funding for actuarially unsound retirement systems|
|LC1089||11/29/2012||Douglas Coffin||(C) Draft On Hold||1/9/2013||Generally revise optional retirement plan laws|
|LC1099||11/30/2012||JP Pomnichowski||(C) Draft On Hold||12/1/2012||Generally revise labor laws|
|LC1100||11/30/2012||JP Pomnichowski||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||1/3/2013||Revise processes for unemployment claims reviews, overpayments|
|LC1116||11/30/2012||Jim Keane||(C) Draft On Hold||1/2/2013||Generally revise labor laws|
|LC1117||11/30/2012||Jim Keane||(C) Draft On Hold||12/1/2012||Generally revise labor laws|
|LC1127||12/1/2012||JP Pomnichowski||(C) Draft Request Received||12/1/2012||Revise labor laws|
|LC1128||12/1/2012||JP Pomnichowski||(C) Draft Request Received||12/1/2012||Revise labor laws|
|LC1129||12/1/2012||JP Pomnichowski||(C) Draft On Hold||12/5/2012||Revise labor laws|
|LC1130||12/1/2012||JP Pomnichowski||(C) Draft On Hold||12/5/2012||Revise labor laws|
|LC1138||12/3/2012||Alan Olson||(C) Draft Request Received||12/3/2012||Revise laws related to revenue estimation|
|LC1146||12/3/2012||Chuck Hunter||(C) Draft On Hold||12/4/2012||Authorize state employee pay plan|
|LC1179||12/4/2012||Fred Thomas||(C) Draft Request Received||12/4/2012||Generally revise workers’ compensation laws|
|LC1183||12/4/2012||Fred Thomas||(C) Draft On Hold||12/5/2012||Generally revise workers’ compensation laws|
|LC1189||12/4/2012||Galen Hollenbaugh||(C) Draft On Hold||12/4/2012||Generally revise state revenue laws|
|LC1190||12/4/2012||Galen Hollenbaugh||(C) Draft On Hold||12/4/2012||Generally revise state revenue laws|
|LC1249||12/4/2012||Janna Taylor||(C) Draft On Hold||12/6/2012||Generally revise state employee compensation|
|LC1250||12/4/2012||Janna Taylor||(C) Draft On Hold||12/27/2012||Generally revise pension laws|
|LC1253||12/4/2012||Ron Ehli||(C) Draft On Hold||12/5/2012||Generally revise labor laws|
|LC1335||12/4/2012||Alan Olson||(C) Draft Request Received||12/4/2012||Revise laws related to workers’ compensation|
|LC1368||12/5/2012||Christine Kaufmann||(C) Draft On Hold||12/6/2012||Revise medicaid laws|
|LC1442||12/5/2012||Fred Thomas||(C) Draft On Hold||1/3/2013||Generally revise welfare laws|
|LC1453||12/5/2012||Jerry O’Neil||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||1/3/2013||Constitutional amendment regarding citizen initiatives and referendums|
|LC1458||12/5/2012||Jerry O’Neil||(C) Draft Request Received||12/5/2012||Revise workers compensation laws related to workers receiving welfare|
|LC1497||12/5/2012||Steve Fitzpatrick||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||1/8/2013||Revise what educational and retirement savings is exempt from civil judgment|
|LC1518||12/5/2012||Ryan Osmundson||(C) Draft On Hold||12/7/2012||Generally revise labor laws|
|LC1519||12/5/2012||Mark Blasdel||(C) Draft On Hold||12/7/2012||Generally revise labor and compensation laws|
|LC1536||12/5/2012||Margaret (Margie) MacDonald||(C) Draft Taken Off Hold||1/21/2013||Generally revise laws related to the board of investments|
|LC1562||12/5/2012||Kris Hansen||(C) Draft Request Received||12/5/2012||Revise laws related to the children’s health insurance program|
|LC1594||12/5/2012||Jennifer Fielder||(C) Draft Request Received||12/5/2012||Generally revise law enforcement statutes|
|LC1637||12/7/2012||Scott Reichner||(C) Draft On Hold||12/7/2012||Revise wrongful discharge from employment laws|
|LC1641||12/7/2012||Scott Reichner||(C) Draft On Hold||12/7/2012||Revise unemployment insurance laws|
|LC1653||12/11/2012||Keith Regier||(C) Draft On Hold||12/17/2012||Referendum to revise labor laws|
|LC1714||12/20/2012||Doug Kary||(C) Draft Request Received||12/20/2012||Authorize department of transportation enforcement personnel to carry a firearm|
|LC1756||12/31/2012||Janna Taylor||(C) Draft Delivered to Requester||1/18/2013||Require public employee unions to file annual report & recertify every 3 years|
|LC1775||1/3/2013||Larry Jent||(C) Draft On Hold||1/3/2013||Revise teachers’ retirement system laws and provide for actuarial funding|
|LC1776||1/3/2013||Larry Jent||(C) Draft On Hold||1/3/2013||Revise public employees’ retirement system laws and provide actuarial funding|
|LC1777||1/3/2013||Larry Jent||(C) Draft On Hold||1/3/2013||Generally revise pension laws|
|LC1807||1/6/2013||Nicholas Schwaderer||(C) Draft Request Received||1/6/2013||Generally revise Montana labor laws|
|LC1871||1/7/2013||Joanne G Blyton||(C) Draft Ready for Delivery||1/10/2013||Revise public union laws to eliminate payroll deduction|
|LC1902||1/7/2013||Pat Noonan||(C) Draft On Hold||1/9/2013||Generally revise labor laws|
|LC2059||1/19/2013||Dee Brown||(C) Draft Request Received||1/19/2013||Referendum on pension reform|
|LC2065||1/19/2013||Joanne G Blyton||(C) Draft On Hold||1/19/2013||Referendum to revise public union laws to eliminate payroll deduction|
Ready for a round of health screenings for state workers? Here’s the schedule!
Great Falls Youth Transition Center Gets First Contract
The Great Falls Youth Transition Center ratified its “first ever” collective bargaining agreement June 7, according to MPEA Field Representative Bob Chatriand, principal negotiator.
This “first ever” contract provides for pay adjustments, a grievance process, working conditions and union security—the four corners to any good labor contract. This eight person chapter is part of the Department of Corrections.
Chatriand said one of the last issues to be settled involved wages. An unfair labor practice had been filed by another union challenging the department’s decision not to provide negotiated pay adjustments. That issue was resolved April 6 in favor of the union position and the new chapter had already come to agreement on the other major issues.
In a letter to department employees announcing the decision and the pay adjustments Corrections Director Mike Ferriter wrote “We can only hope that the 2013 legislature will fix the problems with the broadband pay plan by providing the funding to move employees to the 2010 market rate.”
Chapter members Tony Avanzo and David Clark worked with Chatriand at the bargaining table. The first negotiation session for this “first ever” contract was March 28, 2011.
Tucker Elected President of MPEA’s DEQ Chapter
Lisa Tucker was elected president of the Department of Environmental Quality Chapter of MPEA and Dan Kenney vice president. Tucker and Kenney represented MPEA and chapter members on the statewide bargaining team.
The April elections were also used to elect four chapter representatives including Hayden Jannsen, Mary Ann Dunwell, Devin Clary and David Feldman. DEQ elections are held every two years.
MDT Chapter Ratifies Contract
MPEA’s Highway Department Chapter ratified its collective bargaining agreement July 10. There are a number of improvements in the contract, according to MPEA Field Services Director Dick Letang, principal negotiator.
All employees will now be able to select either overtime or compensatory time in April or October. In the past, such a designation had to be made in January.
The ratified contract improves shift differential for Motor Carrier Service Officers by using 10 p.m. instead of midnight as the start time.
Oil/gas activity in Eastern Montana has impacted everyone needing a place to stay for the night. To assist in solving the problem, the ratified agreement will enable construction workers to pick up an additional $12 per night for use of a camper or RV. This is on top of the current per diem and lodging.
Letang said that the telecommunications technicians will receive a $5 increase for their tool allowance. This raises the unreceipted tool allowance to $40 per month.
Negotiating with Letang were Jodi Bachini, from the Helena lab; Tom Stuber, with the planning division in Helena; MCS Officer Brad Martin, Helena; Clay McLendon, MCSAP Great Falls; Pete Thelen, construction engineer, Kalispell; Ken Golob, Lewistown; and, Kevin Atkins, MCS, Billings.
In June, Legislative Fiscal Division Estimates $481 Million Ending Fund Balance
Agreement Reached on Pay, Health Insurance
As has been reported, the tentative agreement on wages and health insurance for state workers for the coming biennium was overwhelmingly approved by members of MPEA, MEA-MFT and AFSCME, the three unions involved in negotiating the agreement
The ratified agreement increases base pay, across-the-board, by 5 percent in the first full pay period in July 2013, and by another 5 percent the first full pay period in July, 2014. Significantly, the pay increases begin in July. This biennium’s agreement with the administration had January start dates and despite the small size and late start-up dates of this biennium’s negotiated proposal it wasn’t adopted by the legislature, and for most of the past two decades pay increases didn’t become effective until October.
The ratified agreement also calls for an increase in the state’s contribution to the health insurance program. This biennium there were no increases to the health plan. The ratified agreement calls for an increase of 10 percent in January, 2014, and another 10 percent in January 2015. The health plan uses a calendar year. This will increase the current contribution of $730 per month to $803 in 2014 and to $884 in 2015.
A number of health care changes are about to be implemented. Most of the federal Affordable Care Act isn’t fully implemented until January, 2014. The primary care clinic for the state employees is getting ready to open this summer. Montana is grappling with its Healthy Montana Kids program. The next couple years should give planners an idea of what the impacts will be from these efforts.
The ratified agreement also provides for a biennial appropriation of $75,000 to fund the labor/management training initiative.
The total biennial cost (all funds) has been estimated at $138 million.
In June , the Legislative Finance Committee received what has come to be known as the Big Picture report which provides a preliminary review of the financial condition of the state for the 2015 biennium.
The report estimates an ending fund balance of $481.4 million, or, $331 million higher than the $150.4 million estimated by the 2011 Legislature.
The report cites the following as the principal reasons for the increased revenue:
Revenue is currently estimated to be 5.1 percent higher in the 2013 biennium than anticipated during the session. Revenue in the 2015 biennium is currently anticipated to be 7.1 percent higher than the revenue in the 2013 biennium.
Spending growth rates have slowed from growth rates in previous biennia. Specifically, secure care in the Department of Corrections has leveled off; inflation for schools that is statutorily based is anticipated to be 0.89 percent in fiscal year 2014 and 2.3 percent in fiscal year 2015; and the growth of Medicaid caseloads appears to have slowed from previous growth rates.
Members Vote to Support Governor’s Proposal to Fix PERS
A motion to support Governor Schweitzer’s proposed plan to fix the public employees retirement system’s fiscal problems was endorsed by MPEA at its Annual Meeting June 16. The Governor’s approach to correcting the unfunded liability within PERS followed a discussion on the system by former MPEA executive director Tom Schneider.
Schneider, who first became involved in the retirement systems in 1956 as an employee of the Teachers Retirement System, said PERS is underfunded by $1.6 billion. “I understand where the figures come from but it is incorrect to think this underfunding has to be made up today.
“We have a 30-year period, there is nothing immediate. We can get a handle on it by moving slowly and in the right direction, but we have to start now!” Schneider explained.
He then began to discuss House Bill 122 from the 2011 Legislative Session. “They only implemented half of the PERS Board’s proposed bill and that’s the part that reduced benefits. The other half of that legislation was to increase employer contributions and those provisions were stripped from HB122.”
In reviewing the Governor’s proposal, Schneider explained that it made progress by attacking the unfunded liability in five-year increments. “The Governor’s proposal is the other half of House Bill 122 plus House Bill 632 which used some of the unobligated coal tax revenue.” More specifically, for PERS the Governor has proposed that employers and employees each contribute an additional 1 percent to the retirement plans, raising an estimated $13.7 million per year from each source, and the state would contribute an estimated $18 million per year from coal-tax severance funds. There would be an additional local government contribution as well.
The Governor has said “By the year 2020 we will be actuarially sound.”
Schneider also touched on legislative staff attorney David Niss’ opinions of making changes to the system for current employees. Schneider said Niss had told both the State Administration and Veterans Affairs and Legislative Council that “what exists for current employees is a contract you can’t break, but if you try here is a road map that will provide you with the most credibility.”
Schneider concluded his remarks by noting that he had spent 55 years working to improve the systems “and I’m not going to walk out now.”
Schneider was asked to distinguish between a defined benefit plan and the defined contribution structure being promoted by some politicians. It was explained that a defined contribution plan has no annual guaranteed annual benefit adjustment, places all risk on the employee and provides no guarantee that there will be anything there when it comes time to retire. “A simple illustration of my problem with the DC approach is the fact that the retirement systems lost $3.5 billion dollars when the market fell in 2008. If the employees had been in a DC plan, THE EMPLOYEES would have lost $3.5 billion dollars out of their own pockets.”
Schneider also said it is actually cheaper to fund the present system. He also noted that taking new employees out of the pension mix is fiscally stupid because new contributors are needed to fund the benefits of those who retire and without them unfunded liabilities grow.
Actuaries Cost Defined Contribution Conversion
There was legislation in the 2011 session to eliminate Montana’s defined benefit retirement structure and replace it for new hires with a defined contribution system that places all risk on employees and eliminates a guaranteed monthly amount. MPEA expects to see that legislation again in the 2013 session.
Anticipating reintroduction of such a change staff at the Montana Public Employees Retirement Administration (MPERA) had its actuaries perform an analysis to determine the financial effects upon the Public Employees Retirement System if it were closed to new members as of July 1, 2012 and all future eligible employees would be placed in a defined contribution system.
The actuaries from the Cheiron firm began by noting that at the last valuation date of June 30, 2011, PERS had an unfunded liability of $1.6 billion, which was 150 percent of current covered payroll. Paying off the unfunded actuarial liability depends upon contributions from future payrolls. If the system is closed to new members, the covered payroll of the defined benefit plan would decrease each year.
The actuaries note that there are two immediate impacts. First, such a change would cause an immediate increase in the amortization amount and consequently an immediate increase in the annual required contribution. Second, the actuaries currently develop figures based on a rolling 30-year period, meaning that they restart the 30 years at each valuation date. With a closed membership, the actuaries would move to a closed amortization period of 30 years from the date that the system is closed to new members.
So, what are the costs!
In the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012, the actuaries expect contributions of about $85 million but these would drop below $15 million by 2036; this assumes that the current employer contribution rate of 7.13 percent will continue for all future years
According to the actuaries, if you assume contributions equal to the annual required contribution were made for each year beginning July 1, 2012, the contributions would need to be increased to $216 million in 2012 and then would slowly decrease , but would still be almost $140 million by 2036. Put another way, as a percentage of pay the employer contribution would increase from about 18 percent in 2012 to almost 67 percent of pay in 2036.
The actuaries note that the advantages to a defined contribution system is that the contribution becomes fixed and predictable and that there are no unfunded liabilities. Additionally, these plans are more portable and have lower administrative costs.
At the same time, according to the actuaries, studies have shown that rates of return in defined benefit plans consistently exceed those obtained in individual defined contribution plan accounts. Another advantage of defined benefit plans is the pooling of longevity experience; early deaths offset the cost of those whose lifetimes far exceed the average. Also, since large defined benefit plans are ongoing, investment losses can be absorbed and recovered by future investment gains over long periods of time.
The actuaries summed up their report to MPERA by noting that for a given level of contributions, retirees will receive more income from a defined benefit plan than from a defined contribution plan.