SB 405 and HB 1695: (Senator Clark Jolley and Rep. Lisa Billy) Both of these bills essentially double the state’s longevity program and index it in the future. State employees do not receive step raises, but are provided approximately $100 per year in longevity pay, which has not increased since 1988. OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley was present as Senate Bill 405 passed from committee 18-4 and was successful in combining the efforts of Senator Jolley and Rep. Billy in a united effort. OPEA’s lobby team successfully recruited Senator Jolley as the Senate sponsor on HB 1695 and Representative Billy on SB 405.
“With the budget situation and economy staggering, everything that costs money is being closely scrutinized,” said OPEA Deputy Director Scott Barger. “Do not be surprised to see many of these bills die in committee without a hearing. OPEA will continue to work the idea in meetings with legislative leadership. The wild card in all of this is the federal stimulus money and how much it will free up to prevent cuts and possibly provide additional funds.”