Personnel

H.B. 13 (Callegari/Duncan) – Pensions: this bill: (1) requires public pension systems to post the following documents on their Internet websites: (a) actuarial valuations; (b) annual financial reports; (c) member and retiree reports; (d) State Pension Review Board (Board) registration; and (e) reports of investment returns and assumptions; (2) imposes reporting requirements on the Board if a public retirement system does not post its required financial documents, including: (a) posting the names of the systems on its website; (b) notifying either the governor and Legislative Budget Board or the political subdivision of the failure, depending on the pension system; (3) requires the Board to create model ethical and conflict of interest rules for public pension systems to adopt voluntarily; (4) requires the Board to create an educational training program for public pension system administrators; (5) authorizes a public retirement system to provide its own educational training to trustees and system administrators if the Board determines that the system’s training meets or exceed the minimum training requirements; (6) requires a public retirement system to post certain contact information on a publicly-available Internet website; and (7) requires a public retirement system to submit to the Board an investment returns and actuarial assumptions report before the 211th day after the last day of its fiscal year.  (Effective immediately.)  

H.B. 483 (Aycock/Fraser) – Employment Contracts:  prohibits a city from paying more than any contracted amount to an employee or former employee unless the city has an open public meeting regarding the matter and states at the hearing why the payment is being made, the exact amount, and the source of the payment. (Effective immediately.)

VETOED H.B. 950 (Thompson/Davis) – Employment Discrimination:  tracks the language of the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (a 2009 law that overturned a U.S. Supreme Court decision that the statute of limitations for presenting an equal pay lawsuit begins on the date that the employer makes the initial discriminatory wage decision, not at the date of the most recent paycheck) by: (1) extending the statute of limitations on pay discrimination claims to include every instance an individual is paid based on a past discriminatory decision made by an employer; and (2) allowing back pay and benefit damages for up to two years preceding the date of filing a complaint for pay discrimination. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 1188 (Thompson/Whitmire) – Limitation of Liability:  limits the liability of an employer, premises owner, or general contractor for actions of an employee with a criminal conviction, so long as the criminal conviction was not: (1) done in the performance of similar duties; (2) a sexual offense; (3) misuse of funds or fraud; or (4) other serious offenses.  (Effective Immediately.)

H.B. 1951 (S. Thompson/Carona) – Telecommunicators:  provides that: (1) the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) has additional authority over telecommunicators (essentially a 9-1-1 dispatcher and defined as “a person acknowledged by TCLEOSE and employed by or serving a law enforcement agency that performs law enforcement services on a 24-hour basis who receives, processes, and transmits public safety information and criminal justice data for the agency by using a base radio station on a public safety frequency”); (2) a city is required to notify the commission any time it hires a telecommunicator within 30 days of hire; (3) any telecommunicator hired by a city must be licensed by TCLEOSE; (4) a city is required to provide 20 hours of commission-approved training to telecommunicators every 2 years;  (5) a current telecommunicator has one year to obtain a license; (6) a police officer may act as a telecommunicator without having a telecommunicator license; and (7) TCLEOSE is required to give a telecommunicatory license to an individual who is a certified telecommunicator on January 1, 2014, so long as TCLEOSE receives the proper documentation.  (TCLEOSE must adopt rules by December 31, 2013, and the bill becomes effective on January 1, 2014.) 

H.B. 1960 (Cortez/Campbell) – Emergency Medical Services Personnel:  grants state emergency medical service (EMS) certification to EMS personnel certified by the U.S. military. (Effective on September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 2924 (Sheets/Davis) – Civil Service:  allows a firefighter or police officer in a civil service city to use a military leave time account even if the individual has not exhausted his or her vacation, holiday, and compensatory leave time accumulations.  (Effective immediately.)

H.B. 3370 (Craddick/Patrick) – Former Reserve Peace Officers:  provides that: (1) a former peace officer may obtain a concealed handgun license (CHL) without specific concealed handgun training if they meet certain requirements; (2) a law enforcement agency, including a city, must allow a person with such a CHL license to demonstrate the required weapons proficiency; and (3) a law enforcement agency, including a city, must – upon request – provide photo identification to a person who is a former law enforcement officer and who served for at least 15 years or more with one or more state or local law enforcement agencies. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

H.B. 3739 (Burnam/Garcia) – Employee Candidate:  provides that: (1) a city may not: (a) prohibit a city employee from becoming a candidate for public office; or (b) take disciplinary action against a city employee, including terminating the employee, solely because the employee becomes a candidate for public office; and (2) an employee is expected to fulfill all the duties and responsibilities associated with city employment if the employee becomes a candidate for public office.  (Effective immediately.)

S.B. 220 (Birdwell/Anchia) – Firefighters Pension Commissioner:  among other things, transfers the responsibilities of the firefighters’ pension commissioner to the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System and the local firefighters retirement systems. (Effective Immediately.)

S.B. 366 (L. Taylor/Callegari) – Retirement Benefits: authorizes a city to: (1) establish a Roth IRA program for its employees; and (2) develop procedures to allow retirement plan vendors to lend money to a participating employee.  (Effective Immediately.)

S.B. 702 (Hegar/Lozano) – Burn Managers: requires the Prescribed Burning Board to establish insurance requirements for certified and insured prescribed burn managers for at least one million dollars per single occurrence, with a minimum aggregate of two million dollars.  (Effective September 1, 2013.)

S.B. 965 (Rodriguez/Pickett) – Police Termination Reports:  this bill: (1) requires the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education, rather than a police chief, to change a police termination report if an administrative law judge orders that it be changed; (2) requires the commission to send the changed report to the police department; and (3) removes the penalty for police chiefs who do not change police termination reports after being ordered by an administrative law judge.  (Effective September 1, 2013.)

S.B. 1332 (Duncan/Smithee) – Health Benefit Plans:  changes the calculation of the number of employees for purposes of determining whether a health benefit plan is a “large employer” health benefit plans or a “small employer” health benefit plans by including all employees in the calculation rather than just full time employees eligible for benefits, resulting in more employer plans being deemed “large employer” plans. (Effective September 1, 2013.)

S.B. 1537 (Deuell/Cortez) – Unemployment Compensation: requires the Texas Workforce Commission to charge a reimbursing or regular employer, including a city, for unemployment payments made to an individual even if the decision to make the payments is later overturned, but only if the employer does not provide adequate documentation under the unemployment compensation statutes within a specified time. (Effective October 1, 2013.)

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. 
No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

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