Legislation to help fund voluntary out (VOBO) benefits in state agencies passed the House Tuesday evening. HB 2363 (Johnson, Mike and Miller, Ken) allows state agencies to access a special fund to pay for VOBOs.
Under the provisions of HB 2363, agencies may apply for funds to cover benefits in a one-time VOBO offer.The funds will be limited to a total of $22 million, which will be appropriated in a trailer bill. Employees must be eligible for retirement to participate in the plan. Agencies must also reduce their FTE for three years by the number of employees who participate in the plan.
The benefits that will be reimbursed through the fund include:
payment equal to 18 months of the health insurance premium for the employee only in a lump sum, and
the employee’s next longevity payment. (This is a full longevity payment and is not prorated.), and
a maximum lump-sum payment of $5,000.
In addition to the benefits funded by the legislature, the bill states legislative intent that agencies use existing funds to enhance the VOBO package based on years of service.
According to the bill, the program will be implemented in June. A second try at the emergency clause passed the House Wednesday afternoon.
UPDATE: Governor signs VOBO BIll,