November 13, 2019

Legislative Update

Even though the state legislature was not in session last week, the governor did act on two bills that previously passed through both chambers. These bills were among several piecemeal budget components that have recently been processing through the House and Senate on their way to the governor’s desk.

The governor signed H377 The Teacher Step Act. This bill, which is now law, will provide eligible teachers and other certified employees their step salary increases. In addition, this bill provides an average 6.2% pay increase for principals. Also included is language that adjusts ADM tiers for determining principal salaries. Lastly, the bill provides bonuses for principals based on school growth attainment measuring in the top 5% and 10% statewide.

In other activity last week, the governor vetoed S354 The Strengthening Educator Pay Act. As you recall, this bill gave teachers, non-certified, and assistant principals the pay raise appropriated in the state budget. It also had political caveats that paid educators even more than the initial budget provided but was contingent upon the override of the governor’s veto (see last week’s report). PENC continues to remind both the legislators and the governor that all educators need their raise sooner rather than later.  We constantly are in discussion with both sides encouraging them to give more and bring this dispute to a close.

Finally, some members have asked about the retirement contributions made by the state in light of not having a budget.  Retirement, like salaries, is retroactive. However, if a budget agreement is not reached by December 31, action will be needed to address retirement retroactivity.

PENC will continue to watch for any negotiations or movement on a veto override. Stay tuned….

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