This morning the House General Government appropriations subcommittee reported HB 4220, the general government budget that includes EVIP funding. You may view the committee passed substitute here: HB 4220 h-1.pdf (712.12 kb) (The EVIP language begins on page 115.)
Unfortunately the budget does not include a recommended increase in EVIP funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. The boilerplate language contains a number of changes to the program.
In Category 1, accountability and transparency, a local unit would have to include a debt service report on its dashboard. In addition the dashboard must include a listing of all salaries, severance packages and all contracts of $25,000 or more. This portion must be updated monthly.
In Category 2, consolidation of services, the language includes collaboration, innovation, and privatization as efforts that will be recognized to comply with category 2. This language was included after the League testified that we need to ensure our communities have the ability to be creative.
In Category 3, currently called employee compensation, the language would require a community to submit a plan to lower all unfunded accrued liabilities. It would remove the current multipliers and specific criteria in the FY13 language. In addition the language would penalize any community who renews a contract between December 12, 2012 and March 28, 2013 unless there is greater than ten percent savings, it is the same length as the contract being extended and it doesn’t contain a requirement that the employee remain in a labor union.
The committee also included collaboration with universities and community colleges as eligible collaborative efforts to quailfy for EVIP grants.
The League testified with significant concerns regarding the new dashboard requirements and the right to work language in category 3. The committee was receptive to the idea of allowing our communities to have more creativity, and that is reflected in the changes in category 2 and more general terms of category 3. However the new posting requirements and right to work are a significant burden on our communities and violation of local control.
The bill will be considered by the full House Appropriations following spring break. Contact your legislators to ask them to increase funding for EVIP and maintain local control!
Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League. She can be reached at 517-908-0306 and sharkins at mml.org.