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Minutes for SB138 - Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance

Short Title

Exempting KPERS licensed school retirants from the working after retirement earnings limitation.

Minutes Content for Tue, Mar 14, 2017

Chairperson Longbine greeted the committee and guests.  He announced the committee agenda was lengthy today and asked the conferees to keep their testimony to five to seven minutes so everyone could be heard.  He then opened the hearing on SB138

David Wiese presented a Memorandum on SB138 and stood for questions.  There were none.    (Attachment 1)   

Jim Porter presented proponent testimony.  He thanked the contributors to this bill for solving a number of issues.  He noted that the supply of available teachers, including those in the pipeline to become teachers, does not meet the current demand.  He also noted that the current law is complicated with numerous categories with different rates.  He praised the simplicity SB138 brings, defining one rate which is determined by the KPERS Board.    (Attachment 2)   

Terry Collins spoke in favor of the bill.  His organization recognized that not only is there a high demand and/or shortage in special education personnel, but also shortages in other disciplines such as elementary education, math, science, and fine arts.  He also said that school districts often have situations where positions need to be filled immediately. In most cases, the most expedient solution may be a retirant who has the requisite experience and is readily available.   (Attachment 3)    

Dr. Michael Argabright also testified in support of SB138.  He noted that school districts across the state still have open positions from last year that they were unable to fill due to unavailability of qualified candidates.  He remarked that rural schools are struggling to find qualified candidates.  This bill allows school districts to choose the best qualified candidate.  He urged its passage.   (Attachment 4)

G.A. Buie provided supportive testimony for the bill.  He remarked that his organization has worked for the past 18 months with KPERS staff and the 2016 legislature to ensure that appropriate legislation would allow school districts to hire the most qualified educator in each vacant position, even if he or she had previously retired.   (Attachment 5)    

Alan Conroy presented a KPERS overview of SB138, explaining the new provisions, and also background on the earnings limitations, whether working for the same or a different employer.  He spoke about the the proposed changes and how they might incent members to retire at a younger age.  This type of activity would have an actuarial cost to the System, but it can not be calculated because the cost is behaviorally based.  (Attachment 6)   The proponents answered questions from Senators Suellentrop, Givens, and Wilborn.

Chairperson Longbine directed the committee's attention to the proponent written-only testimony of Diane Gjerstad, Wichita Public Schools    (Attachment 7)    and  the neutral written-only testimony of Terry Forsyth on behalf of the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA).    (Attachment 8)   

There being no other discussion or questions, and no other conferees or written-only testimony submitted, Chairperson Longbine closed the hearing on SB138.