Appropriations Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5417

Title:

AN ACT CREATING AN OFFICE OF OVERTIME ACCOUNTABILITY.

Vote Date:

4/7/2016

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/4/2016

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Appropriations Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill establishes the Office of Overtime Accountability within the Department of Labor (DOL) in order to find cost savings for the State of Connecticut.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Scott D. Jackson, Commissioner, Department of Labor submitted written testimony in opposition to HB 5417, stating that the Department of Labor would incur a fiscal impact with implementation of this bill as it would require an extra office with staff and necessary equipment. He also emphasized that DOL lacks the expertise to effectively evaluate overtime for other agencies and creating an office within DOL would duplicate overtime information that is already accessible through CoreCT, the State's fiscal system.

Benjamin Barnes, Secretary, Office of Policy and Management testified in opposition to the bill, stating that OPM does not support the creation of new offices or additional reporting requirements as would be instituted with the passage of this legislation.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Senator Len. Fasano, Senate Minority Leader testified and submitted written comments in support of the language in HB 5417. He cited the need for structural changes, including the review of state expenses and finding cost savings where possible, given the nature of the deficits in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The Senator also stated there is lack of accountability with respect to overtime and indicated managers need a reporting system to verify the purpose for overtime in order to reduce overtime and associated costs.

Senator Tony Hwang, Assistant Minority Leader submitted written testimony in support of the bill, citing the need to implement long-term structural changes to fix Connecticut's fiscal climate. He remarked on the $240 million in overtime paid out in 2015 and indicated the proposal would help cut down on expenses to help mitigate the deficit.

Senator Art Linares, Assistant Minority Leader submitted written testimony in support of the bill, stating it would enable lawmakers to cut down on overtime expenditures in order to mitigate the state deficit and enact needed long-term structural changes. He cited the $240 million sum paid out by the State in 2015 as part of his comments.

Peter M. Gioia, Vice President and Economist, Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) testified and submitted written comments in support of this bill, stating that it provides added accountability and aides in efforts to reduce overtime, including reporting measures. He stated that implementation of this measure is long overdue and would help legislators, among other interested parties, identify overtime expenses.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None expressed.

Reported by: Sarah Schnitman

Date: 4/12/16