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HB 213 - Sick Leave At Retirement Revisions (2005)
HB 213 was a very controversial bill that was passed by the Utah Legislature in 2005 and went into effect on January 1, 2006. This bill effectively changed the sick leave at retirement benefit that state employees enjoy upon retirement. Any sick leave earned prior to 2006 can be exchanged for health insurance (8 hours = 1 month of insurance). After January 1, 2006, the sick leave may be exchanged for a dollar amount to be placed into a Health Reimbursement Account.
UPEA kept track of the following events with regard to HB 213:
8/26/04 and 8/27/04: Retirement and Independent Entities Interim Committee met to discuss retirement, compensation, and health insurance issues. Sick Leave at Retirement was discussed. The Chair of the committee Rep. David Clark stated that if any legislation was going to be dealing with the sick leave at retirement issue that they should meet again. UPEA was in attendance and was under the impression that they would be involved in the process if any changes were to be presented.
1/13/05: UPEA was presented with copy of HB 213.
1/17/05: Legislative session began. UPEA began meeting with Representative David Clark, the sponsor of HB 213, to propose amendments.
1/19/05: HB 213 was numbered and distributed. UPEA began meeting with the Speaker of the House, Rep. Greg Curtis, and President of the Senate, Senator John Valentine in attempt to stop the bill.
1/20/05: HB 213 was read for the first time in the House of Representatives.
UPEA continued to meet with Rep. D. Clark and Speaker Curtis multiple times. In the meetings UPEA presented several amendment proposals and ideas to find a reasonable compromise.
2/4/05 and 2/7/05: HB 213 was heard in the House Retirement and Independent Entities Committee. UPEA spoke against the bill. HB 213 passed the committee with a favorable recommendation, along party lines, six votes to three. We continued to meet with Rep. D. Clark, and several other legislators to propose amendment ideas. Representatives Hansen, Hutchings, and Ray all agreed to run amendments or substitute bills on UPEA's behalf. UPEA spoke at caucus lunches in regards to HB 213. UPEA also met individually with several Representatives to educate them on HB 213.
2/14/05: HB 213 was debated on the House floor. There was much debate on the issue as to how this would affect the State Employees. Several amendments were proposed. Rep. Steve Mascaro raised the question in the debates as to why UPEA was not included in the beginning in formulating this bill. The House passed HB 213 with the minimum number of votes needed 38-36-1, due in large part to UPEA’s efforts.
UPEA began to hold meetings with Pres. Valentine to discuss amendment ideas so that we could come to a reasonable compromise. UPEA met with the Senate Democratic caucus to discuss HB 213. UPEA met with several Senators individually to educate them on HB 213.
2/22/05: HB 213 was heard in the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee. UPEA spoke against this bill. HB 213 passed the committee with a favorable recommendation, along party lines, three votes to two.
2/25/05: HB 213 was debated on the Senate Floor. It passed the Senate along party lines 20-8 with one Senator absent.
3/1/05: Governor Huntsman signed HB 213 into law.
The following links show how UPEA fought the effects of this bill further, all the way to the Utah Supreme Court. In addition these links show what the changes meant for state employees once the bill/Supreme Court decision went into effect.