May 8, 2009

Wrapping Up the Legislative Session for TRS

Well, I posted my last blog on April 30 explaining that one of the items I was working on dealt with possible legislation that would make changes for TRS. It would have been nice for TRS to have already posted that all bills that would have made major changes had died in committee, but I think they posted the PDF on May 1.

In any event, some of the proposed changes that would have benefited a great number of educators and other state employees died in committee. Just a sad reality of the current economic times. All proposed bills that could have had a financial impact died in committee.

The bad thing about these changes are that they are what are called "fiscal" bills that can only be brought up in the first year of the two year elective cycle. When they are introduced, they must be put through an "actuarial study" between the 1st and 2nd sessions (under Georgia law). Without an actuarial study, there is no chance the bill will be passed and enacted in the second year. I must admit that I was not aware of this process, but I guess we learn something new every day.

The problem now is that any legislation that could possibly help the educators of Georgia like these bills would have cannot be brought before the legislature until after the inauguration of the next group of legislators in 2011. Can you say "frustrating?"

Well, the next step is to know and understand the next group of legislators that are elected. Press them to introduce legislation, request an actuarial study, pass the bill in year 2, and finally have it signed into law by our next governor. It is a large task, but hopefully, as the economy improves the state will see the benefits of making a few changes.

Want to read more about the various bills covering TRS? Click this link to go to the TRS website and the PDF that they released.

No comments: