Friday, April 25, 2014

Legislative Update for April 25

The House Retirement Committee met Thursday, April 24 and took action on the following bills that would impact LASERS if passed:

  • SB 18, sponsored by Senator Guillory, was reported favorably and now moves to the House for consideration. This bill, which passed unanimously on the Senate Floor, would provide a 1.5 percent COLA for eligible retirees, survivors, and beneficiaries. In order for the COLA to be effective, COLAs for the three other state retirement systems must also be approved. Additionally, the Senate added another contingency to granting of the COLA: passage of HB 1225 by Representative Robideaux (see below).
  • HB 64, by Representative Havard, was reported favorably with amendments. This bill now provides that therapeutic corrections guards and officers in the forensic program at the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System are eligible for membership in the Hazardous Duty Services Plan. The LASERS Board of Trustees is neutral on this bill.
  • HB 78, by Representative Montoucet, failed to pass. This bill would have provided for additional and retroactive retirement benefits for adult probation and parole officers employed on or before December 31, 2001. The LASERS Board of Trustees opposed this bill.
  • HB 79, by Representative Pearson, was reported by substitute, and will therefore have a new bill number going forward. This bill provides for enrollment of new hires of the Harbor Police Department of the Port of New Orleans in the LASERS Hazardous Duty Services Plan and for the future administration of the Harbor Police Retirement System as a new subplan in LASERS. The LASERS Board of Trustees supports this bill.
HB 1225, by Representative Robideaux, was reported favorably with amendments. This bill changes the mechanism of paying funds into the Experience Account, uses additional investment earnings to pay system debt, and modifies when future COLAs may be paid. The LASERS Board of Trustees voted to take a neutral position on this legislation at its April 25 meeting.

The Senate Retirement Committee is scheduled to meet Monday, April 28, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. HB 38 is the only bill on the agenda that would impact LASERS if passed. This measure changes retirement eligibility for new hires only on or after July 1, 2014, (excluding the Hazardous Duty Services Plan) to five years of service at age 62. HB 38 has already passed on the House Floor with a vote of 91-3. The LASERS Board of Trustees supports this bill.

Please note that meeting schedules are subject to change. Check the LASERS website daily for updates and for detailed information about proposed retirement legislation.

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