Legislative Update 02/11/2013
Well, the first thirty days of the 2013 Legislature has passed and we are well into this session. We have been very active in working on the new State personnel rules, new State health care programs, budget meetings, briefings and hearings. I would like to report there are several things moving in good directions with respect to the compensation increases for next year. There is still no hard fast percentage to report because the numbers have not been set in the final budget document. The Joint Budget Committee will continue to meet throughout the next two months, and is scheduled to pass the final budget document the last part of March.
We worked on two PERA bills so far this year, HB-13-1040 and SB-13-55:
HB-1040 was sponsored by Representative Kevin Priola (R-Henderson, CO); he sponsored a similar bill last year that would have changed the highest average salary calculation from three years plus a base year to seven years plus a base year.
SB-13-055 was sponsored by Senator Kent Lambert, (R-Colorado Springs), and Rep. Lori Saine, (R- Dacono). This bill would have changed the way actuarial soundness was defined and would have changed the way the annual financial reports were done and delivered. The bill would have also changed the way the assumed rate of return is calculated. Both bills were reviewed by the Board of Trustees of PERA and the Board voted to oppose both bills. Both bills did not make changes to PERA that would have assisted PERA in sustaining the changes that were made in 2010 in SB-001.
Both bills were postponed indefinitely (killed) in their first committee. Your ACSPP was present and testified on these bills. Keeping your retirement benefits secure is very important and we will continue to work hard on your behalf. Be sure and follow these activities on the Secure PERA web-site. You can find the information on our ACSPP web-site as well. You might also take note of a blog about money matters, if you’re interested at: www.thedimecolorado.com.
On January 30, 2013 we conducted a Tele-Town hall. We had great success with that effort and had 3,400 people on the call. We appreciate the support and thanks to all that called in. To listen to the audio, you can do so here.
We continue to watch other law enforcement bills that affect your work environment as they move through the system: lots of gun control bills being introduced, bills on Marijuana regulations, etc.
In January, there were concerns that the State’s administration wanted to make changes to the “Patrol Act” within the Colorado State statutes to make it possible to hire the Chief from outside the agency. After several meetings and discussion it was decided by the administration that there would not be an effort to change that act.
One last note on the turbulent times we seem to be experiencing in our agency. It’s important that we pull together and continue to perform professionally, and focus on facts rather than rumors. We are all part of one of the greatest law enforcement agencies in the US, and we need to continue to be professional. Thanks for your dedication and hard work out there.
It is truly an honor to work on your behalf. Thanks for your support of the ACSPP!!
Terry L. Campbell
Legislative Director | ACSPP