Inside208

Legislature Finalizes Action on OPEB Bills

Posted on December 12, 2017 by chackbarth

Following the initial action on the stripped down OPEB proposal last Thursday morning, League staff and members reviewed that language with an eye towards identifying provisions that appeared to be in conflict with the task force report or could be viewed as problematic for municipalities.

We identified a number of items and requested changes to accommodate those issues.

Earlier this morning, before the House and Senate sessions began, we were provided an H-2 version of SB 686 that did include a few of our requested changes, including:

  • Some clarification of the municipal reporting requirements.
  • Clarification that uniform assumptions established by the Treasurer are only for the purposes of the reporting within that section of the bill.
  • Eliminating language that could have been viewed as requiring corrective action plans to focus only on “maintaining and preserving” benefits.
  • Eliminating language which would have required these corrective action plans to address underfunding in ALL future years.

We remain concerned with the potential for unintended consequences based upon how swiftly these bills were changed and moved, without a thorough legal or policy review.

The substitute version of the main bill (and its companions) moved this afternoon, nearly unanimously in both chambers and the whole package is now on its way to the Governor.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and chackbarth@mml.org.

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