In March, the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth “issued its report and unanimously adopted several policy recommendations… The most egregious proposal rescinds state employee’s collective bargaining rights on pension and healthcare benefits after the expiration of the SEBAC agreement in 2027. Benefit levels from that point forward would be determined by the General Assembly. The Commission also recommends having a public-private task force review the terms of the current SEBAC agreement and examine the possibility of implementing privatization schemes, removing quasi-public agency employees from the SEBAC agreement, establishing a job freeze and using structured financial transactions to pay down unfunded liabilities. The Commission stated its hope that SEBAC will voluntarily reopen the agreement to incorporate such changes.” Also, the Commission’s report included a section that “involved reworking state tax policy to cut personal income taxes by $2.1 billion and eliminate both the estate and gift taxes. Lost revenue would be replaced with increases in sales tax, corporate income tax, the gas tax, and other revenue sources. It would also reduce corporate tax expenditures….” The report also recommended, “increasing prevailing wage thresholds to $1 million on both new construction and renovation projects.” Information about other commission recommendations can be found here. Labor leaders’ statements about the commission’s recommendations can be found here.
The Joint Committee on Labor and Public Employees held a hearing this week on the following bills:
- SB 321 would limit on-call shift scheduling;
- Pay equity bill HB 5386;
- Paid family and medical leave bills HB 5387 and SB 1;
- Minimum wage increase bill HB 5388; and
- HB 5271 would require “non-profit organizations established by commissions, boards, task forces and working groups created by the General Assembly to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.”