May 17, 2005 – Sen. Louis Hill took the final step Tuesday in getting Government Employees Retirement System reform legislation on the Senate floor.
He wrote Senate President Lorraine Berry Tuesday requesting the Retirement System Reform Act of 2005 be assigned a bill number and sent to the committee of jurisdiction for hearings. This is the first piece of legislation to be directed to the retirement system in its 46 years of existence.
Hill said in a release Tuesday, "The final bill was circulated to member of the Legislature and has been submitted with eight senators signing on as co-sponsors. It now awaits the action of the senate president. Sen. Norman Jn. Baptiste, the bill's co-sponsor and I are scheduling a series of public meetings to allow all government employees an opportunity to learn what reforms are needed and how each employee will be affected."
Hill said the meeting dates will be announced, once the bill has been assigned to a committee. Berry has said she would assign the legislation to Committee of the Whole. (See "GERS Reform Bill Ready for Consideration").
The legislation represents an overhaul to the GERS system, Hill said, that responds to the threat of the system's collapse, and mounting unfunded liability. It also establishes a second tier for new employees who are hired after the bill becomes law, and it seeks to better protect the system from further irresponsible political manipulation.
Hill said reforming the system "raises complex issues," but he encourages the community to actively participate in the process.
The other co-sponsors of the bill are minority Sens. Craig Barshinger, Roosevelt David, Pedro Encarnacion, Neville James, Ronald Russell and Juan Figueroa-Serville.
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