Friday, December 14, 2007

LASERS Seeks to Consolidate Law Enforcement Plans

The Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System wants to replace the seven plans covering law enforcement officers with a single blanket policy.

LASERS Executive Director Cindy Rougeou said several current plans pertain to different employee groups, including probation and parole officers, peace officers, bridge police, Alcohol and Tobacco Control agents, and Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents.

The proposed legislation, to be introduced in the next legislative session, is intended to bring all these “hazardous duty” employees under one comprehensive plan instead of continuing to address each agency with piecemeal policies, Rougeou said.

Department of Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges, a LASERS board member, oversees the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

Bridges said the comprehensive plan would put all hazardous duty officers on the same level. No group is expected to lose any benefits under the new plan, she said.

Rougeou said it may take a couple legislative sessions to get the plan to pass, but, “Unless we start, then it will never happen.”

The proposed law would only apply to hazardous duty employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2009. LASERS also is working on a transition plan for those in current hazardous duty plans who want to transfer to the new plan.

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