Legislative Agenda 2023​​

We are proud that our legislative agenda was formed by OPEA members. OPEA members submitted each idea as a platform planks in the summer of 2022. OPEA members introduced, debated, and amended platform planks at the Annual OPEA Convention. Then lastly our entire membership finalized our legislative agenda by voting in early September.

Legislation Improving State Employee Total Compensation

Market-Based Pay Concept authored by Representative Mike Osburn
Develop and implements a market-based pay plan and philosophy for state employees
Return to the Defined Benefit Pension Retirement Plan
Return state employees to a defined benefit plan and close the current defined contribution Plan “Pathfinder” that was implemented for state employees hired after November 2015
Pay for Performance Concept authored by Representative Mike Osburn
Develop and implement a pay-for-performance pay plan and philosophy for state employees
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for State Retirees
Grant a Cost-of-Living increase for retired state employees.
Increase Benefit Allowance
Expand the benefit allowance increases established by SB 650.
Increase Retiree Benefit Allowance
Increase the retiree benefit allowance to match the Medicare premium.
Establish a Floating Holiday
(Juneteenth, Indigenous Peoples Day, Birthday, Anniversary, etc.) (HB 4190) – Pass legislation like the Texas Floating Holiday rule. Allowing each individual employee to choose their preferred floating holiday.
Discounts for state employees & retirees at state parks authored by Representative Nicole Miller
Expand the Dept. of Tourism Employee Stay benefit to all state employees & Retirees. Reintroduce HB 3320 (2022).
Add positions into the Hazard Duty Retirement (20-year Retirement)
Place additional job titles under the OPERS Hazardous Duty retirement system (i.e., Fire Marshals, Military Police, Child Welfare)
Hazard Duty Pay for state employees determining safety factors
Grant any state employee hazardous duty pay while determining safety factors that could lead to the removal of a family member from a home.
Create a stipend for state employees who have adopted children
Establish a stipend to cover adoption costs for state employees
Return to the rule of 80 for state retirement qualification
Return retirement age to the “Rule of 80”. The rule of 80 referred to your years of service plus age to determine retirement eligibility.

Legislation Improving State Employment

Cost of Living Adjustment Triggers authored by Floor Leader Jon Echols
Develop and implements market-based criteria or “Triggers” for the public retirement system to grant Cost of Living increases to retirees
Use it or Lose it Leave Reform authored by Representative Chris Kannady
Ensure State employees do not lose annual leave they have accrued like OPEA’s 2021 Legislation HB 2294.
Tuition Reimbursement for advancing education in a topic relevant to your state job authored by Senator Dewayne Pemberton
Develop a program to assist all state employees with continuing education in exchange for state service.
Standardize on-call practices across state government
Establish standardized on-call compensation & practices through all agencies.
Paid Leave for Volunteering at a non-profit authored by Representative Danny Williams
Expand HB 1943 (2021) to allow for paid/admin leave to volunteer for nonprofits
Standardized Differential Pay
Pass rules or legislation requiring differential pay for employees in positions that previously required extended certification but no longer list those requirements.
Expand the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) authored by Representative Josh West
Expand EAP to 80 hours a calendar year.
Expand FMLA authored by Representative Forrest Bennett
Add siblings and mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law to the state’s definition of family for FMLA.
Civil Service Modernization Edits
Continue to update and revise the Civil Service Modernization Act to best protect state employees
Option for employees to pay slightly more for insurance to get better coverage
Expand the options for vision, dental, and other supplemental insurance benefits
Expand the COVID-19 Child Care Credit authored by Minority Leader Cyndi Munson
Codify and make permanent the Child Care Credit that was offered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grant Park rangers increased power and authority to police
Pass rules or legislation granting Park Rangers the same law enforcement jurisdictions as other statewide LE Officers.