This morning the House Appropriations Committee reported an omnibus budget that included the Fiscal Year 2014 recommendations for EVIP. They did not make changes from the subcommittee version that passed several weeks ago.
Unfortunately the budget does not include a recommended increase in EVIP funding for 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 bill is expected to be taken up on the House floor next week. 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.