This week, the House and Senate passed identical bill packages making reforms to retiree benefits in local communities. Originally as introduced the bills would have made major reforms and included changes that police and firefighters believed would significantly reduce or remove their earned benefits. Following a major push by stakeholders and several legislators, the House and Senate amended the bills to be in-line with the proposals set forth by the Governor’s Responsible Retirement Reform Task Force report. Once the first responders were on board with the new proposal, the House and Senate put the legislation up for a vote and they were passed by an overwhelming majority in both chambers. The House and Senate will now send their bills to each other for consideration. The legislation is expected to receive final legislative approval next week.
The legislation as passed by the House and Senate includes the creation of a reporting system with uniform financial and accounting standards for local government retirement plans. There would also be an early detection system in place to help local governments and the state identify potential funding problems. Additionally, local communities will be required to make a minimum level of payments related to retirement systems for new hires.
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