Legislative Updates

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MCEA LEGISLATIVE REPORT

2013 SESSION

April 19, 2013

 

       The following bills affecting state employees have been signed by the Governor:

           

HB  136 – (Chapter 83) - State Personnel Teleworking – Statewide Program and Goals

 

This bill was amended.  In it’s final version, it requires the Department of Budget and Management to establish a statewide telework program and adopt statewide policy and guidelines for the program.  HB 136 also sets a goal of 15% participation in the program for employees in eligible positions.  Effective October 1, 2013. 

 

HB  346 – (Chapter 31) -Harford County – Correctional Officers’ Bill of Rights –    

(SB 216)  - (Chapter 30)              

 

This bill extends certain rights to Correctional Officers in Harford

County similar to those of Correctional Officers in the State and other jurisdictions under a Correctional Officers’ Bill of Rights. Effective October 1, 2013.

 

HB  665 – (Chapter 131) - State Personnel – Law Enforcement Employees – Compensation

 

This bill was amended.  The final version grants one day of compensatory time and overtime at time and one half to law enforcement officers who are scheduled off and is called to duty on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Effective October 1, 2013.

 

HB 1132 – ( Chapter 74) -Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund – Operational

(SB 749) – (Chapter 73)   Changes

 

This bill was amended.  The final version provides for the independence of the Fund and removes certain employees from the State Personnel and Management System.  Effective October 1, 2013.                                         

 

 

MCEA LEGISLATIVE REPORT 2013 SESSION

FINAL REPORT

 

 

    The 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly ended at midnight on April 8.  MCEA, as part of our legislative program, monitors all legislation affecting our members.  In addition, we submit verbal and written testimony to various legislative committees regarding bills of interest.  In conjunction with our Political Action Committee, The Employees Action Movement (TEAM), we engage in lobbying activities to support legislators and legislation beneficial to our members.

 

       The following bills affecting active employees passed:

           

HB  136 – State Personnel Teleworking – Statewide Program and Goals

 

This bill was amended.  In it’s final version, it requires the Department of Budget and Management to establish a statewide telework program and adopt statewide policy and guidelines for the program.  HB 136 also sets a goal of 15% participation in the program for employees in eligible positions.  Effective October 1, 2013. 

 

HB  346 – Harford County – Correctional Officers’ Bill of Rights

(SB 216)                

 

This bill extends certain rights to Correctional Officers in Harford

County similar to those of Correctional Officers in the State and other jurisdictions under a Correctional Officers’ Bill of Rights. Effective October 1, 2013.

 

HB  391 – State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program 

(SB 224) - Wellness Program

 

This bill was amended.  The final version requires the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management establish a Welfare Benefits Program to promote the health of state employees and retirees.  The amendment to study combining sick and annual leave was removed.  Effective October 1, 2013.

 

HB  665 – State Personnel – Law Enforcement Employees – Compensation

 

This bill was amended.  The final version grants one day of compensatory time and overtime at time and one half to law enforcement officers who are scheduled off and is called to duty on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Effective October 1, 2013.

 

 

 

HB  863 – Higher Education Fair Share Act

(SB841)   

 

This bill removes the prohibition against negotiation of service fees                                                                                          in collective bargaining contracts for University Employees.  Effective October 1, 2013.

 

HB 1132 – Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund – Operational Changes

(SB 749)   

 

This bill was amended.  The final version provides for the independence of the Fund and removes certain employees from the State Personnel and Management System.  Effective October 1, 2013.                                         

 

SB 4  – State Personnel – Applicants for Employment – Criminal History  

 Records Check

 

This bill prohibits any state appointing authority from inquiring into the criminal record or history of an applicant until the applicant has been given an opportunity for an interview.  Effective October 1, 2013.

 

        The following bills affecting retirement passed:

 

HB 376 – State Retirement and Pensions System – Correctional of Errors in

(SB269)   Benefits

               

This bill requires the Board of Trustees to correct errors in payments to retirees and beneficiaries.  Effective July 1, 2013.

 

HB 390 – State Retirement and Pension System – Board of Trustees

(SB 741)

 

This bill adds a County Representative to the Board.  Effective July 1, 2013.

 

HB 494 – State Retirement and Pension System – Employment of Retirees

(SB 477)  - Required Break in Service

 

This bill clarifies the 45 day required break in service prior to the re-employment of an individual receiving a retirement allowance from the State Retirement and Pension System.  Effective July 1, 2013.

 

HB 496 – State Retirement and Pension System – Funding Method and

(SB 474)  Amortization of Unfunded Liabilities or Surpluses

 

This bill establishes a new method to determine the state’s contribution rate to the Retirement and Pension System.  This new method will bring the system to 100% funded in 2024 and require state contributions to maintain 100% funding thereafter.  Effective July 1, 2013.

 

       The following bills did not pass this session:

 

HB 790 - Collective Bargaining for Judicial employees was withdrawn soon after introduction.

 

HB 780 – State Employees Pension Choice Act received an unfavorable report in Committee.  This bill would have given new employees the option of joining the Pension Plan or participating in a 401K type plan.

 

HB 1383 – Expanding eligibility for participation in the Law Enforcement Officers’ DROP program received an unfavorable report in committee.

 

         The State Budget includes a 3% COLA effective January 1, 2014 for state employees and an increment effective April 1, 2014.  Eligible retirees will receive a 2.069% COLA effective July 1, 2013.

 

 Submitted by,

 

Rosemary L. Wertz

Labor Relations Specialist