SB 1609 passed through the House rules committee yesterday by a vote of 4 -2. One Republican, Jim Weiers voted against the Bill, saying that he believed it was unconstitutional and will create many problems. This Bill is expected to go to the House Caucuses sometime this week and then proceed to the full House after that. PLEA and the APA are still adamantly opposing the Bill as it will devastate our pension system.
As of the time of this writing the prohibition of purchasing prior military or service credit is still in the Bill. An emergency clause is also still attached to the Bill, which could mean that this provision could go into effect immediately after it is signed by the Governor. At this point the Bill is still a ways from that step but I would encourage all members that are thinking about purchasing prior service to at least call the retirement office in order to get a cost estimate. In the event the Bill goes through as written, you may only have a week or two after it is signed by the Governor to purchase prior service time and will need to act quickly in order not to miss out.
The entire Bill will be challenged in court if it is signed as currently written. We will be asking for an emergency stay from the courts on all provisions including the purchase of prior service however, no one can predict how a judge might rule and whether or not they would grant an emergency stay. Officers should be prepared to purchase prior service time in the event that our efforts at changing the Bill fail.
Updates will be provided as soon as they are available.