Tomorrow at approximately 11:00 a.m., Senate Appropriation will convene to hear and vote on several budget bills for FY 2010. Of interest to us are the Amendments to SB1028 and SB1035. Within those budget bills is language that greatly affects our members.
First, on page 20 of that amendment is language that would alter the definition of “compensation” within ARS 38-842, the section that pertains to the Public Safety Retirement System. The proposed language would prohibit the inclusion of any third-party compensation of being included into calculations for PSPRS retirement benefits. In other words, it would not allow any PSPRS member to use overtime compensation from secondary employment to be used in calculating his/her retirement. Should the agency and ADOT reach an agreement to put our officers back at work zones as before, that money earned could not be used in calculating retirement.
Second, on page 27, language has been added to the statute allowing DPS dispatchers to transfer into CORP from ASRS essentially placing a deadline for this transfer of Oct. 1, 2009. Additionally, any dispatcher hired after that date would not be eligible to enter CORP.
Section 20 of the amendment contains the same session law that is included in HB2636 with regards to increasing the employee contribution into PSPRS, CORP and EORP. The language in the Senate bill is the same as in the House bill. This would cause an increase in the contribution rate we pay, essentially creating in a decrease in take-home pay. The contribution increase would amount to 1.93%.
I am asking you to contact your State Senator, particularly the Republicans, and voice your opposition to the language within the two bill amendments listed above. I will be meeting with key Senate members to voice our opposition and hopefully get enough votes to have the language removed from these bills before they get to the Senate floor.
Additionally, you should also contact your State Representative in the House opposing the language in HB2636 that would increase PSPRS employee contribution rates. The previous message posted on the AHPA website has specific information about that bill.
If you do not know your State Senator or your legislative district, you can go to www.azleg.gov. Along the left menu is a link to legislative maps. You can find your district by clicking on that link. Once you find your district, you can go directly to the Senate or House roster on the legislative website (the link along the top of the page). Members are listed in alphabetical order with their corresponding district.