Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

Amendment

 

February Session, 2018

LCO No. 4972

   
 

*SB0001104972SRO*

Offered by:

 

SEN. FASANO, 34th Dist.

 

To: Subst. Senate Bill No. 11

File No. 624

Cal. No. 385

"AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT'S RESPONSE TO FEDERAL TAX REFORM."

After the last section, add the following and renumber sections and internal references accordingly:

"Sec. 501. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a panel to study and make recommendations regarding the proposals made by the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, established pursuant to section 250 of public act 17-2 of the June special session, in its final report concerning the rebalancing of state taxes to better stimulate economic growth without raising net new taxes. The study shall include, but not be limited to, reviews of (1) options for expanding revenue sources for municipalities, and (2) base-broadening methodologies for the sales and use taxes, taking into account the work of said commission and the State Tax Panel convened pursuant to section 138 of public act 14-217.

(b) The panel shall consist of the following members:

(1) One appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall have either served on the State Tax Panel, convened pursuant to section 138 of public act 14-217, or on the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, established pursuant to section 250 of public act 17-2 of the June special session;

(2) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, who shall have either served on said tax panel or on said commission;

(3) One appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, who shall have either served on said tax panel or on said commission;

(4) One appointed by the Republican president pro tempore of the Senate, who shall have either served on said tax panel or on said commission; and

(5) The Commissioner of Revenue Services, who shall be an ex-officio, nonvoting member of the panel.

(c) All appointments to the task force shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(d) The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall jointly select a cochairperson of the panel from among the members of the panel. The minority leader of the House of Representatives and the Republican president pro tempore of the Senate shall jointly select a cochairperson of the panel from among the members of the panel. Such cochairpersons shall schedule the first meeting of the task force, which shall be held not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section.

(e) The administrative staff of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding shall serve as administrative staff of the panel.

(f) The panel may consult with any individuals or entities the members of the panel deem appropriate or necessary and may request the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to hire a consultant or consultants to assist the panel in conducting the study. The sum of one hundred thousand dollars shall be appropriated to the Office of Policy and Management for the purpose of hiring a consultant or consultants to assist the panel.

(g) Not later than January 1, 2019, the panel shall submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, revenue and bonding, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. The panel shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or January 1, 2019, whichever is later.

Sec. 502. (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than July 1, 2018, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall develop and issue a request for proposals to hire a national consultant to study and make recommendations regarding efficiency improvements in revenue collection and agency expense management that will result in a savings of at least five hundred million dollars. Such recommendations shall not adversely impact program quality or social services program benefits.

(b) The secretary shall consult with former members of the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, established pursuant to section 250 of public act 17-2 of the June special session, on the scope of the study and shall update such former members on its progress. Not later than January 1, 2019, the consultant shall submit a report on the consultant's findings and recommendations to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and the budgets of state agencies and finance, revenue and bonding, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes.

Sec. 503. Subsection (a) of section 5-271 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) (1) Employees shall have, and shall be protected in the exercise of the right of self-organization, to form, join or assist any employee organization, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing on questions of wages, hours and other conditions of employment, except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection and subsection (d) of section 5-272, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, free from actual interference, restraint or coercion.

(2) On and after July 1, 2027, "wages, hours and other conditions of employment" shall not include any question related to state employee retirement benefits, the state employees retirement system or state employee health and welfare benefits.

Sec. 504. Subsection (c) of section 5-272 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(c) For the purposes of sections 5-270 to 5-280, inclusive, to bargain collectively is the performance of the mutual obligation of the employer or his designated representatives and the representative of the employees to meet at reasonable times, including meetings appropriately related to the budget-making process, and bargain in good faith with respect to wages, hours and other conditions of employment, except as provided in subsection (a) of section 5-271, as amended by this act, and subsection (d) of this section, or the negotiation of an agreement, or any question arising thereunder, and the execution of a written contract incorporating any agreement reached if requested by either party, but such obligation shall not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession.

Sec. 505. Section 5-278 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) When an employee organization has been designated, in accordance with the provisions of sections 5-270 to 5-280, inclusive, as the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate unit, the employer shall be represented in collective bargaining with such employee organization in the following manner: (1) In the case of an executive branch employer, including the Division of Criminal Justice, by the chief executive officer whether elected or appointed, or his designated representative; who shall maintain a close liaison with the legislature relative to the negotiations and the potential fiscal ramifications of any proposed settlement; (2) in the case of a judicial branch employer, by the Chief Court Administrator or his designated representative; and (3) in the case of each segment of the system of higher education, the faculty and professional employees shall negotiate with their own board of trustees or its designated representative.

(b) (1) Any agreement reached by the negotiators shall be reduced to writing. The agreement, together with a request for funds necessary to fully implement such agreement and for approval of any provisions of the agreement which are in conflict with any statute or any regulation of any state agency, and any arbitration award, issued in accordance with section 5-276a, together with a statement setting forth the amount of funds necessary to implement such award, shall be filed by the bargaining representative of the employer with the clerks of the House of Representatives and the Senate within ten days after the date on which such agreement is reached or such award is distributed. The General Assembly may approve any such agreement as a whole by a majority vote of each house or may reject such agreement as a whole by a majority vote of either house. The General Assembly may reject any such award as a whole by a two-thirds vote of either house if it determines that there are insufficient funds for full implementation of the award.

(2) (A) If an agreement is rejected, the matter shall be returned to the parties, who shall initiate arbitration in accordance with the provisions of section 5-276a. The parties may submit any award issued pursuant to such arbitration to the General Assembly for approval in the same manner as the rejected agreement. If the arbitration award is rejected by the General Assembly, the matter shall be returned again to the parties for further arbitration. Any award issued pursuant to such further arbitration shall be deemed approved by the General Assembly.

(B) If an arbitration award, other than an award issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, is rejected, the matter shall be returned to the parties for further arbitration. Any award issued pursuant to such further arbitration shall be deemed approved by the General Assembly.

(3) Once approved by the General Assembly, any provision of an agreement or award need not be resubmitted by the parties to such agreement or award as part of a future contract approval process unless changes in the language of such provision are negotiated by such parties. Any supplemental understanding reached between such parties containing provisions which would supersede any provision of the general statutes or any regulation of any state agency or would require additional state funding shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval in the same manner as agreements and awards. If the General Assembly is in session, it shall vote to approve or reject such agreement or award within thirty days after the date of filing. If the General Assembly is not in session when such agreement or award is filed, it shall be submitted to the General Assembly within ten days of the first day of the next regular session or special session called for such purpose. The agreement or award shall be deemed rejected if the General Assembly fails to vote to approve or reject such agreement or award within thirty days after such filing or submission. The thirty-day period shall not begin or expire unless the General Assembly is in regular session. For the purpose of this subsection, any agreement or award filed with the clerks within thirty days before the commencement of a regular session of the General Assembly shall be deemed to be filed on the first day of such session.

(4) Each house of the General Assembly shall permit not more than six hours of total time for debate of a resolution to approve or reject an agreement or award filed with the clerks of the House of Representatives and the Senate pursuant to this subsection. Those speaking in favor of such resolution shall be allocated not more than three hours of total time for debate, and those speaking in opposition to such resolution shall be allocated not more than three hours of total time for debate. A vote shall be taken on the resolution upon the conclusion of the debate.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (4) of this subsection, if the debate on such resolution occurs during the last three days of the thirty-day period, each house of the General Assembly shall permit not more than four hours of total time for debate of such resolution. Those speaking in favor of such resolution shall be allocated not more than two hours of total time for debate and those speaking in opposition to such resolution shall be allocated not more than two hours of total time for debate. A vote shall be taken on the resolution upon the conclusion of the debate.

(c) Notwithstanding any provision of any general statute or special act to the contrary, the legislature shall appropriate whatever funds are required to comply with a collective bargaining agreement, supplemental understanding or arbitration award, provided the request called for in subsection (b) of this section has been approved by the legislature.

(d) No provision of any general statute or special act shall prevent negotiations between an employer and an employee organization which has been designated as the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate unit, from continuing after the final date for setting the state budget. An agreement between an employer and an employee organization shall be valid and in force under its terms when entered into in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and signed by the chief executive officer or administrator as a ministerial act. Such terms may make any such agreement effective on a date prior to the date on which the agreement is entered. No publication thereof shall be required to make it effective. The procedure for the making of an agreement between the employer and an employee organization provided by sections 5-270 to 5-280, inclusive, shall be the exclusive method for making a valid agreement for employees represented by an employee organization, and any provisions in any general statute or special act to the contrary shall not apply to such an agreement.

(e) Where there is a conflict between any agreement or arbitration award approved in accordance with the provisions of sections 5-270 to 5-280, inclusive, on matters appropriate to collective bargaining, as defined in said sections, and any general statute or special act, or regulations adopted by any state agency, the terms of such agreement or arbitration award shall prevail; provided if participation of any employees in a retirement system is [effected] affected by such agreement or arbitration award negotiated or issued prior to July 1, 2027, the effective date of participation in said system, notwithstanding any contrary provision in such agreement or arbitration award, shall be the first day of the third month following the month in which a certified copy of such agreement or arbitration award is received by the Retirement Commission or such later date as may be specified in the agreement or arbitration award.

(f) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, collective bargaining negotiations concerning changes to the state employees retirement system to be effective on and after July 1, 1988, but prior to July 1, 2027, and collective bargaining negotiations concerning health and welfare benefits to be effective on and after July 1, 1994, but prior to July 1, 2027, shall be conducted between the employer and a coalition committee which represents all state employees who are members of any designated employee organization. (2) The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not be construed to prevent the employer and any designated employee organization from bargaining directly with each other on matters related to the state employees retirement system and health and welfare benefits whenever the parties jointly agree that such matters are unique to the particular bargaining unit. (3) The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not be construed to prevent the employer and representatives of employee organizations from dealing with any state-wide issue using the procedure established in said subdivision.

(g) (1) Nonmandatory subjects of bargaining shall not be subject to the impasse procedures of section 5-276a. In the case of higher education teaching faculty, the arbitrator shall not make a decision involving academic policy unless it affects the wages, hours or conditions of employment of such faculty. Any arbitration award issued on such matters shall be unenforceable. (2) Unless mutually agreed to by the parties, the impasse procedures of section 5-276a shall not be invoked during the pendency before the State Board of Labor Relations of any scope of bargaining question arising from the parties' negotiations. Any such question shall take precedence over all other matters pending before said board.

Sec. 506. (Effective from passage) (a) Not later than July 1, 2018, the Office of Legislative Management shall issue a request for proposals to hire an independent consultant that specializes in state retirement programs, employee health and other benefits programs and employee compensation to analyze the ratified 2017 SEBAC agreement, dated June 25, 2017, between the state and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, approved pursuant to subsection (f) of section 5-278 of the general statutes, as amended by this act. Such analysis shall include, but shall not be limited to, such matters as: (1) The competitiveness of state workers' wages and benefits compared to competitor states and to private sector wages and benefits; (2) the relative equity of benefits and terms among the tiers of the state employees retirement system; (3) the potential for disruptive effects from policies enacted in said agreement; (4) the impacts of job protection policies; and (5) options for exempting quasi-public entities from state employee collective bargaining requirements in light of the unique nature and operation of such entities.

(b) Not later than February 1, 2019, such consultant shall submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, on the analysis completed in accordance with subsection (a) of this section to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. The report shall include any recommendations for (1) policy revisions concerning the matters analyzed, and (2) legislation necessary to implement such revisions.

Sec. 507. Subdivision (9) of subsection (d) of section 7-473c of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(9) In arriving at a decision, the arbitration panel shall give priority to the public interest and the financial capability of the municipal employer, including consideration of other demands on the financial capability of the municipal employer. There shall be an irrebuttable presumption that a municipal employer's budget reserve equal to fifteen per cent or less of the municipal employer's operating budget [reserve] is not available for payment of the cost of any item subject to arbitration under this chapter. The panel shall further consider the following factors in light of such financial capability: (A) The negotiations between the parties prior to arbitration; (B) the interests and welfare of the employee group; (C) changes in the cost of living; (D) the existing conditions of employment of the employee group and those of similar groups; and (E) the wages, salaries, fringe benefits, and other conditions of employment prevailing in the labor market, including developments in private sector wages and benefits.

Sec. 508. Subdivision (4) of subsection (c) of section 10-153f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(4) After hearing all the issues, the arbitrators or the single arbitrator shall, within twenty days, render a decision in writing, signed by a majority of the arbitrators or the single arbitrator, which states in detail the nature of the decision and the disposition of the issues by the arbitrators or the single arbitrator. The written decision shall include a narrative explaining the evaluation by the arbitrators or the single arbitrator of the evidence presented for each item upon which a decision was rendered by the arbitrators or the single arbitrator and shall state with particularity the basis for the decision as to each disputed issue and the manner in which the factors enumerated in this subdivision were considered in arriving at such decision, including, where applicable, the specific similar groups and conditions of employment presented for comparison and accepted by the arbitrators or the single arbitrator and the reason for such acceptance. The arbitrators or the single arbitrator shall file one copy of the decision with the commissioner, each town clerk in the school district involved, the legislative body or bodies of the town or towns for the school district involved, or, in the case of a town for which the legislative body of the town is a town meeting or representative town meeting, to the board of selectmen, and the board of education and organization which are parties to the dispute. The decision of the arbitrators or the single arbitrator shall be final and binding upon the parties to the dispute unless a rejection is filed in accordance with subdivision (7) of this subsection. The decision of the arbitrators or the single arbitrator shall incorporate those items of agreement the parties have reached prior to its issuance. At any time prior to the issuance of a decision by the arbitrators or the single arbitrator, the parties may jointly file with the arbitrators or the single arbitrator, any stipulations setting forth contract provisions which both parties agree to accept. In arriving at a decision, the arbitrators or the single arbitrator shall give priority to the public interest and the financial capability of the town or towns in the school district, including consideration of other demands on the financial capability of the town or towns in the school district. In assessing the financial capability of the town or towns, there shall be an irrebuttable presumption that a budget reserve [of five] equal to fifteen per cent or less of the operating budget of any town in the school district is not available for payment of the cost of any item subject to arbitration under this chapter. The arbitrators or the single arbitrator shall further consider, in light of such financial capability, the following factors: (A) The negotiations between the parties prior to arbitration, including the offers and the range of discussion of the issues; (B) the interests and welfare of the employee group; (C) changes in the cost of living averaged over the preceding three years; (D) the existing conditions of employment of the employee group and those of similar groups; and (E) the salaries, fringe benefits, and other conditions of employment prevailing in the state labor market, including the terms of recent contract settlements or awards in collective bargaining for other municipal employee organizations and developments in private sector wages and benefits. The parties shall submit to the arbitrators or the single arbitrator their respective positions on each individual issue in dispute between them in the form of a last best offer. The arbitrators or the single arbitrator shall resolve separately each individual disputed issue by accepting the last best offer thereon of either of the parties, and shall incorporate in a decision each such accepted individual last best offer and an explanation of how the total cost of all offers accepted was considered. The award of the arbitrators or the single arbitrator shall not be subject to rejection by referendum. The parties shall each pay the fee of the arbitrator selected by or for them and share equally the fee of the third arbitrator or the single arbitrator and all other costs incidental to the arbitration.

Sec. 509. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) On and after July 1, 2018, any municipal employee affected by a service sharing agreement between one or more municipalities shall be represented by a coalition committee or new bargaining unit representing similarly situated employees in any proceeding concerning such agreement and its impact on such employee.

Sec. 510. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a panel to conduct a study of the proposal made by the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, established pursuant to section 250 of public act 17-2 of the June special session, in its final report for reform of the Teachers' Retirement System.

(b) The study shall include, but need not be limited to, consideration of: (1) A thirty-year contribution of lottery net proceeds to the Teachers' Retirement Fund to pay down unfunded liabilities, (2) re-amortization of remaining fund liabilities in 2025 after current bonds are defeased, and (3) the creation of a hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution plan for new teachers with risk sharing on investment returns.

(c) The panel shall consist of the following members:

(1) One appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;

(2) One appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives;

(3) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(4) One appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;

(5) One appointed by the Republican president pro tempore of the Senate; and

(6) One appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.

(d) Each appointee shall be an expert in one of the following areas: Public pensions, finance, bonding, defined benefit plans or defined contribution plans. All appointments to the panel shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(e) The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall jointly select a cochairperson of the panel from among the members of the panel. The minority leader of the House of Representatives and the Republican president pro tempore of the Senate shall jointly select a cochairperson of the panel from among the members of the panel. Such cochairpersons shall schedule the first meeting of the task force, which shall be held not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section.

(f) The administrative staff of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations shall serve as administrative staff of the panel.

(g) Not later than January 1, 2019, the panel shall report on the results of the study in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. Such report may include recommendations for reform of the Teachers' Retirement System and legislation to enact such reform.

Sec. 511. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, no collective bargaining agreement entered into on or after July 1, 2018, between a municipality and an employee organization that is the exclusive representative of the municipality's employees shall contain any provision limiting the ability of the municipality to permit volunteer services for the maintenance of buildings and grounds."

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Sec. 501

from passage

New section

Sec. 502

from passage

New section

Sec. 503

July 1, 2018

5-271(a)

Sec. 504

July 1, 2018

5-272(c)

Sec. 505

July 1, 2018

5-278

Sec. 506

from passage

New section

Sec. 507

July 1, 2018

7-473c(d)(9)

Sec. 508

July 1, 2018

10-153f(c)(4)

Sec. 509

July 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 510

from passage

New section

Sec. 511

July 1, 2018

New section