2003 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Harden
AN ACT CREATING A JOINT STUDY COMMITTEE TO STUDY AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING A PENSION PLAN RESTRUCTURE FOR TEACHERS RECEIVING A RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE WHO ARE OFFERED REEMPLOYMENT IN SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITH A TEACHER SHORTAGE; TO DIRECT THE JOINT COMMITTEE TO STUDY AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE CONDITIONS FOR SUCH REEMPLOYMENT OF RETIRED TEACHERS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE PLAN COST NEUTRAL TO THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM; TO DIRECT THE JOINT COMMITTEE TO MAKE A WRITTEN REPORT OF ITS FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS BEFORE DECEMBER 1, 2003; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. A Special Joint Committee is created to Study and Make Recommendations Concerning a Public Employees' Retirement System Plan Restructure for teachers receiving a retirement allowance who are offered reemployment in school districts in Mississippi with a documented teacher shortage. The joint committee shall be composed of the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Chairman of the House Education Committee, the members of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees' Retirement System, the Executive Director of the Public Employees' Retirement System, the State Superintendent of Education, the Chairman of the State Board of Education, a licensed teacher appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, and a local school superintendent appointed by the Speaker of the House.
Within sixty (60) days after sine die adjournment of the 2003 Regular Session of the Legislature, the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker shall appoint the members of the committee, after which the entire joint committee shall meet on a date designated by the State Superintendent of Education in Jackson, Mississippi, to select a chairman, organize the committee and establish rules for transacting its business and keeping records. An affirmative vote of a majority of the members from each house shall be required in the adoption of rules and reports. All members of the joint committee shall be notified in writing of all meetings of the committee, which notices shall be mailed at least five (5) days before the dates of the meetings. The joint committee may establish any subcommittees that it deems desirable to study and report to the committee with respect to any matter that is within the scope of this act.
The joint committee shall review in depth and study the present laws and regulations of the state and federal government and the Internal Revenue Service relating to retirement and reemployment of public employees generally, and teachers specifically, and make recommendations regarding the implementation of a PERS retirement option in response to increasing teacher shortages in the public schools in Mississippi. This study shall address the following: (a) Internal Revenue Service requirements, and recent rulings, regarding the length of time a retired member must be retired prior to being eligible for reemployment; (b) the contract period and workday requirements allowed for any such retired member to be reemployed; (c) may this retirement option be limited to teachers if the employing school district has a teacher shortage due to its geographical location or a teacher shortage in high-demand subject areas; (d) what documentation is required for such reemployment contracts; (e) what salary, health insurance or leave benefits should be allowed to such retired teachers who are reemployed under this option; (f) what salary should the retired teacher receive upon reemployment in order to maximize participation in this option within federal requirements; (g) in order to make this option cost neutral to the retirement system, what contributions should be required from the state, the school district and/or the participating member. The joint committee shall make a written report with proposed legislation relating to its findings and recommendations, and shall mail copies of the report to each member of the Legislature not later than December 1, 2003. Upon submission of its report, the joint committee shall be dissolved.
In carrying out the provisions of this act, the joint committee may utilize the services, facilities and personnel of all departments, agencies, offices and institutions of the state, including the state universities and the community and junior colleges, in particular the State Department of Education and the Public Employees' Retirement System, and each requested agency shall cooperate with the joint committee and provide the joint committee with any information and other assistance requested by the chairman.
Nonlegislative members of the joint committee shall serve without compensation. For attending meetings of the joint committee, each legislative member shall be paid per diem compensation in the amount authorized by Section 25-3-69 and a mileage allowance and an expense allowance in the amount authorized by Section 5-1-47. Legislative members shall be paid from the contingent expense fund of the member's respective house. However, no per diem compensation, mileage allowance or expense allowance shall be paid for attending meetings of the joint committee while the Legislature is in session, and no per diem compensation, mileage allowance or expense allowance shall be paid without prior approval of the proper committee in the member's respective house.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.