Legislative Update For The Week Of April 18th 2016

legislative update azcops

 

AZCOPS Endorses Proposition 124

 

Dear AZCOPS Members,

After a lengthy discussion at the April 23, 2016 AZCOPS board meeting, the AZCOPS board, along with the members present, voted unanimously to support Proposition 124.

The endorsement was motivated by the potential of Proposition 124 failing and a far less agreeable solution replacing it.  While Proposition 124 is not a perfect solution, it preserves the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) fund in order to serve its members and future retirees. 

 

Dave Caballero

AZCOPS President

 

Summary

The legislature continues to move at a slow pace but this will change soon as the budget was released today (Monday April 25, 2016).  The rumored plan is to pass the budget by Wednesday and dedicate Thursday and Friday to passing the remaining bills.

 

May 17 Special Election

The two questions on the May 17th Special Election ballot are –

Proposition 123 related to education finance, and

Proposition 124 related to public retirement systems.

See the articles below for more information.  Early voting for May 17 Special Election began April 20, 2016.

May 17 Special Election Q&A

 

Your vote is EXTREMELY important.  Don’t be discouraged by long lines at the polls.  VOTE BY MAIL!

 

Click here to

register to vote,

find out if you’re registered to vote,

find your polling place,

view the status of your provisional ballot,

view the status of your early ballot or

find the county website where you can request an early voting ballot.

 

Proposition 124 amends the pension clause of the Arizona Constitution to provide an exception for certain adjustments to the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS).

Provisions –

  1. Provides an exception to the prohibition against diminishment or impairment of benefits. The stated exception is certain adjustments to PSPRS that are provided in SB1428, as enacted by the 52nd Legislature, Second Regular Session.
  2. Provides that this modification to the pension clause does not restrict the Legislature’s ability to modify public retirement system benefits for prospective members.
  3. Requires the Secretary of State to submit the proposition to the voters at a special election to be held for that purpose on May 17, 2016.
  4. Contains technical and clarifying changes.
  5. Becomes effective if approved by the voters and on proclamation of the Governor.

Prop. 124 is second ballot issue

 

Proposition 123  modifies the State Treasurer’s distribution formula of permanent Trust land funds beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.  If approved this question would sell all state trust lands to support schools for 10 years.

Prop 123 – It’s not sustainable, and it’s not a solution

Prop. 123 primer: Plan would put about $3.5B into schools

 

Affiliate Spotlight

As soon as legislative session ends we will be starting an affiliate spotlight – simply sharing facts and ideas among our members.  Please reply if you would like to be one of the first to be highlighted. 

El Mirage has volunteered to be the first!  Who is next?

 

AZCOPS Annual Conference

Please save the Friday October 21st through Sunday October 23rd for the annual AZCOPS Annual Conference.

More details to follow soon.

 

Bills of Interest

HB2019 Credited Service; Military Service Purchase

Reduces the number of credited service years in the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS), the Corrections Officer Retirement Plan (CORP) or the Elected Officials’ Retirement Plan (EORP), from ten years to five years, which a member must have in order to purchase credited service for periods of active military service.

Status – Governor signed the bill on 4/5/16; it is now Ch. 90.

 

HB2072  Firearms; University; College; Campus

HB2072 would have prohibited public college and university administration from adopting policies against faculty or students with concealed weapons permits from carrying weapons on campus if the faculty member or student registered with the college or university.

Status –   NO CHANGE – HB2072 was not heard in committee and is likely dead for this session.

Bill Allowing Guns on College Campuses in Works Anew

 

HB2074 Public Safety Employees; Omnibus

Expands eligibility for the Firefighter, Peace Officer and Corrections Officer Cancer Insurance Policy Program and grants qualified immunity to public entities and employees for any liability resulting from an injury caused by a peace officer providing emergency care.

Status –  NO CHANGE – Passed the Senate 28-0 & returned to the House. House Caucus recommends concurrence with the Senate amendments; awaiting House Final read.

 

HB2082  Committee of Reference; Chairperson; Appointment

(NOW: strike everything amendment relating to law enforcement officers; investigations)

HB2082 as amended now places additional requirements on an employer that intends to discipline a law enforcement officer (officer), under certain circumstances.

The bill requires an employer to do the following, when requested by the officer, if the employer seeks

disciplinary action after completing an investigation:

  1. a) provide the officer with a complete copy of the investigative file;
  2. b) if termination is being considered, allow the officer 14 days to review the file and submit a response or rebuttal before any discipline is ordered; and
  3. c) not take final disciplinary action until the officer’s rebuttal or response is considered.

The bill also permits the employer to grant extensions to the 14-day review period and specifies that this period is not included in the calculation of the time limitation on disciplinary action against an officer as outlined in statute or any other time limitation provided by administrative rule or employer policy.

The employer is required to include all known exculpatory material in the file, and is allowed to withhold personal, biographical or identifying information if a complainant or witness is the victim of a crime related to the investigation.

Status – NO CHANGE – Waiting to be heard in Senate Committee of the Whole (COW).

 

HB2350  Occupational Disease; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (NOW: post-traumatic stress disorder; occupational disease)

HB2350 requires the state or a political subdivision to establish a program to provide up to 12 visits of psychotherapy treatment to public safety employees that experience certain traumatic events.

Treatment must be provided by a licensed psychologist, or a therapist with training and expertise in treating trauma; services can be provided through telemedicine.  The bill also specifies that payment for treatment under the act does not create a presumption of compensability for a mental illness, injury or condition under the Workers’ Compensation program.

The bill passed the Senate Public Safety, Military and Technology Committee 6-0-0 and now moves to the Appropriations Committee.  We are currently NEUTRAL on this bill as we are awaiting an amendment in Appropriations or on the floor which we are told will improve the bill.  The amendment is being prepared by the stakeholders we need to accept our SB1518 (bodily fluids) effort next session.

Status –  Waiting to be heard in Senate Committee of the Whole (COW).

 

HB2512 Pension Contributions; Expenditure Limit Exemption

Stipulates that any payment made to the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) by a city, town or county against the city’s, town’s or county’s unfunded accrued liability is excluded from expenditure limitation requirements.

Status –  NO CHANGE – Still waiting to be heard in Senate Committee of the Whole (COW).

 

HB2643 PSPRS; CORP; EORP; Administration Changes

Specifies that a PSPRS or CORP member who retires having met all of the qualifications for retirement and who subsequently becomes an elected official, by election or appointment, is not considered reemployed by the same employer.

Status – NO CHANGE – Passed Senate Committee of the Whole (COW) and waiting to be 3rd Read.

 

HB2677  Peace Officer Employment; Study Committee

HB2677 establishes the Peace Officer Employment Study Committee to research staffing levels, recruitment and retention policies and practices and the impact these have on attrition rates and public safety.

The Study Committee consists of two members of the House and two members of the Senate; four appointed members representing a law enforcement association; two members representing the business

community; two members representing the faith community; and one member representing the public.  The Committee must submit its findings and recommendations by December 31, 2016; however, it doesn’t cease to exist until September 30, 2017.

We supported this bill not only for its purpose but also for AZCOPS opportunity to have one of our representatives appointed to the Committee.  We will need to move forward quickly to secure a Committee appointment as many groups will be putting forth nominees, and we are ready to do so.

Status –  Amended in Senate Committee of the Whole (COW), passed 3rd Read, transmitted to the House for concurrence.

 

SB1160 CORP; Reverse Deferred Retirement Option

Continues the reverse DROP program beyond the current repeal date of July 1, 2016

Status – Signed by the Governor on 3/30/16.

 

SB1518 Law Enforcement; Workers Compensation; Exposure

SB1518 would have required employers of law enforcement employees with level I, II, III, and IV exposures to HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, staphylococcus aureus, spinal meningitis, or tuberculosis to provide medical coverage, compensation benefits and any time lost as a result of medication taken as a result of the exposure.

SB1518 was not heard in committee before deadline two weeks ago.  We are working on securing a vehicle to amend SB1518’s language onto.

We made a gallant attempt to amend the language in SB1518 onto HB2240.  As HB2240 is a consensus bill covering many workers’ comp changes, sponsor Rep. Karen Fann directed us to reach out to all stakeholders to be sure that there was stakeholder support for our amendment.  Although there was acknowledgement from several stakeholders that there is merit in our issue and what we are trying to accomplish, they indicated that it was too late in the game to address our matter this session, especially since we weren’t part of the consensus group.  If we engage the stakeholders before the 2017 session we are likely to gain support (and steer away opposition) for a bill next year.

UPDATE:  We have already had communication/conversations with the above stakeholders and there is sensitivity and understanding of our concern, and a willingness to meet and discuss SB1518 as introduced over the summer.  And if HB2350 relating to PTSD passes, it adds credence and precedent to our issue.

 

SB1521 Authorized Payroll Deductions; Associations

Lowers the membership threshold for certain associations to be eligible to receive payroll deductions from the salaries or wages of state officers and employees.

SB1521 passed the Senate 30-0 and has been assigned to one committee in the House, Military Affairs & Public Safety (MAPS).

On March 10th the MAPS Committee passed the bill 6-0-0-2, and it had passed the Rules Committee and Committee of the Whole.

Status – NO CHANGE – Waiting to be Third Read in the House.

 

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