Legislative Update

IRTA Legislative Update by Laura Penman

NOW IS THE TIME TO REACH OUT TO YOUR LOCAL LEGISLATORS AND MENTION THE FOLLOWING BILLS!

 

January 9th, 2023 - The 2023 Legislative Session has reconvened.

Both the House and Senate have started to release the filed bills.

Two 13th Check Bills have been filed:

 

HB 1028 by Rep. Bob Cherry

SB 30 by Sen. David Niezgodski

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IRTA Legislative Committee Update by Nancy Tolson

The committee met on October 5, with nine members present plus Executive Director Penman and President Dyer.  Our lobbyist, Steve Beebe, was also present.

We welcomed a new member, Lynne Fleming, and introduced ourselves as we finished lunch.

Lobbyist Beebe made his report with the following points:

  1. The Legislature put 2.5 billion into the pension fund this year which significantly lowers the unfunded liability of the pre’96 pensions.
  2. The chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Mishler, would be agreeable to enhancements for the coming years if the money does not have to come from the General Fund.
  3. Beebe and Penman attended the summer PMOC* meeting. There, the Executive Director of INPRS**, Steve Russo, gave his report on the status of Indiana pensions.  According to this year’s report, there should be enough money in the SRA^^ account to fund a “13th check” for both years on the coming biennium.
  4. With these points in mind, the Legislative Committee members voted to recommend asking and lobbying the Legislature for a “13th check” over the biennium. This recommendation went to the IRTA Executive Committee and has been approved.
  5. The committee members were asked to contact their local legislative chairs, who in turn should contact their membership. IRTA members need to support the committee by contacting their legislators, thanking them for the 2.5 billion put into the pension fund to lower the unfunded liability, and to express whatever their wishes are for pension enhancements. We were reminded that we want to be positive in our comments, and that emails are probably most effective.
  6. The committee wants to encourage our members to use this web site to easily access the legislators’ contact information.

NOTE: Your committee and IRTA officers are trying to use the term “enhancements” to refer to what has been known as “13th check” and COLA.

*PMOC—Pension Management Oversight Committee, a committee of Senators and Representatives.

** INPRS—Indiana Public Retirement System

^^SRA—Supplemental Reserve Account.  This is the fund set aside for pension relief a few years ago.  When enough money has built up, it is to be used for enhancements.

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