RPEN Legislative Alert XII April 22, 2019
At long last Senate Bill 224 is on its way to the Nevada Assembly! On Friday, April 19, the Privacy Bill being sponsored by Senator Julia Ratti with assistance from RPEN Lead Lobbyist Marlene Lockard, was taken off the Secretary’s desk where it sat over a week awaiting amendments, and was placed on the General File for a vote today (April 22). The bill summary was amended to read “Revises provisions relating to public retirement systems, providing for the confidentiality of certain information”. Additional changes reflected now state “Section 1 of this bill generally makes information about a current or former member of a public retirement system administered by the Public Employees’ Retirement Board, or a beneficiary of such a member, confidential, and further states only the following information will be a public record by the PERS Board: 1) identification number of such a person; 2) the last public employer of the person; 3) the number of years of service credit such a person has with the public retirement system; 4) the retirement date of the person; 5) the amount of annual pension benefit paid to the person; and 6) whether the person is receiving a disability or service retirement allowance”. The vote on SB 224 was 11 ayes, 10 nays, with all (R’s) voting against the bill as did two (D’s). No matter, the bill received a constitutional majority and now will begin making its way through the Assembly.
There were only two committee hearings in the Legislature today, as their second major deadline this session arrives tomorrow, April 23, when all non-exempt bills must pass from the House of Origin over to the second house. On Friday the Senate was on the floor past 7pm, and because of this latest deadline floor sessions for both houses are likely to occur again today through tomorrow. Many of the other bills RPEN is watching, including the Collective Bargaining Bill for State Employees (SB 135) are exempt and will not be impacted by the April 23 deadline.
Senate Bill 287 (Public Records) and Senate Bill 272 that seeks to make pay for the Nevada Highway Patrol Association more competitive with other local and county law enforcement agencies, have been re-referred from the Government Affairs Committee to the Senate Finance Committee and since both have fiscal notes attached they are also exempt from the April 23 deadline.
The 80th Session of the Nevada State Legislature is on the 78th day of a 120 day regular schedule, so crunch time is drawing nearer. Legislators were able to have the Easter weekend off, however, that could be their last free weekend until the end of the session, scheduled for Monday, June 3.
Legislators will begin resolving budget differences as of May 3, and in some budget related news, the Public Employees’ Benefits Program (PEBP) has announced some changes stemming from meetings between the Governor’s Finance Office and the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB). The two entities drafted a PEBP budget amendment adjusting the employer’s contribution percentages up from the Governor’s Original Recommended Budget but down from the PEBP Board’s approved rates on March 28. As a result, the PEBP Board is going to hold a special meeting at 9:15 a.m. Friday April 26 to discuss this one issue only. PEBP Executive Officer Damon Haycock says they’ll ask the Board to approve the lower percentages which in turn means approving increased premiums for members. The agenda for this meeting can be viewed by clicking on the following link: https://pebp.state.nv.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/4.26.2019-Agenda-Final.pdf Naturally RPEN is concerned with such a change since PEBP has continued to post excess reserves year after year.
Terri Laird, RPEN Executive Director