Wednesday, March 25, 2009

NFA tracking bills of interest for NHSE faculty in state legilsature

In addition to the NSHE budget drama -- the latest installment of which will be this Friday's working session of the Higher Ed joint subcommittee of Senate Finance and Assembly Ways & Means, at which the System is to present a budget that would be at 2006 funding levels, representing an 18% cut for the System from the 2007 budget -- and of course the budget for the Public Employees Health Program, the Nevada Faculty Alliance is tracking bills of importance to Nevada higher ed faculty. These include the following, which have gotten little press coverage but could be very important to us:

  • SB 283, Senator Parks’ bill assuring rights of domestic partners
  • SB 279, Senator Care's bill dealing with conflicts of interest for public employees, which would require disclosure by all NSHE faculty of outside contracts (in a manner consistent with existing NSHE policies)
  • AB403, Representative Gansert's bill which would require current state workers to serve at least 10 years to qualify for subsidies of health insurance premiums in retirement. Those who enter into state employement after this coming July 1 would not be eligible to accrue state subsidies for health insurance premiums in retirement but would have the option to pay into a trust fund during their working years, from which those premiums would be paid in retirement.
  • Note that faculty will not be covered under AB395, Representative Aizley's bill to allow some categories of state workers to bargain collectively on issues other than compensation. (Faculty collective bargaining rights for non-compensation issues are already covered by Title IV of the NSHE code.)

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