Longevity Plan Passes First Hurdle

Legislation that would nearly double the state employee longevity plan passed through the Senate Appropriations and Budget committee this week on a vote of 18-4.

“This is a request of bill of Howard Hendrick from DHS,” said Senator Clark Jolley, the sponsor of the legislation. “I’m not going to suggest this is an easy thing for us to do this year, but I think it’s the right thing for us to look at doing.”

OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley was present during the meeting to support SB 405. “We have a measure (HB1695 by Lisa Billy) nearly identical to SB 405 so it is natural that we would lend our support to this bill.”

“OPEA created longevity in the 80’s to keep veteran employees from quitting and to reward them for their seniority. The program has not kept pace with inflation and SB 405 or HB 1695 will go a long way to fixing the problem,” Zearley said.

The bill which is estimated to cost over $30 million will now go to the full Senate for a vote.

In other news, a bill creating a new state agency passed through the appropriations process as well. This measure by Senate Pro tempore, Glenn Coffee would create the Office of Accountability and Innovation.

Coffee told the committee that the new officer will conduct performance audits of agencies and recommend ways to streamline government.

Related News