Senate Retirement Committee Hears PAGE-Supported Retirement Bill Impacting Classified School Staff
The committee passed SB 105, sponsored by Sen. Larry Walker (R-Perry) which would improve retirement benefits for members of the Public School Employees Retirement System. The bill lifts the statutory cap on the retirement multiplier for these non-TRS members who are classified staff serving in a number of educational roles such as pupil transportation, school nutrition, and custodial services. The bill has a fiscal impact, and legislative rules require it to undergo a two-year cycle, making it eligible to pass in 2024. Senate Retirement Chair Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville) indicated the Senate Retirement Committee will collaborate with the House Retirement Committee regarding sending the legislation for required actuarial study.
PAGE Director of Legislative Services Margaret Ciccarelli spoke in support of SB 105, citing the importance of boosting PSERS retirement benefits and Georgia’s ongoing school bus driver shortage, which negatively impacts students.
Committee discussion was favorable and indicated members support the concept of raising PSERS benefits, which average $290 a month.
Before the discussion of SB 105, former Senate Retirement Committee Chair Randy Robertson (R-Columbus) briefly visited and gave each member a toy yellow school bus. Roberts reminded them of their obligation to consider bus drivers, teachers, custodians, school food service workers, law enforcement, and other public employees.
House Ed Passes Amended High School Football Championship Video Review Bill
Rep. Demetrius Douglas (D-Stockbridge) presented a substitute version of HB 32 to the full House Education Committee. The substitute adds the term “video review” to the proposed requirement that schools provide instant replay for high school football championship games. The bill was amended during the committee meeting to clarify that it applies to Georgia state high school football championship games.
HB 32 now moves to the House Rules Committee.
Capital Outlay Bill Passes House
The House unanimously passed HB 81, from Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park). The bill revises eligibility criteria for capital outlay grants for low-wealth school districts with the aim of expanding access to the poorest districts. HB 81 now moves to the Senate.
Tuesday, Feb. 21 – Legislative Day 21/PAGE Day on Capitol Hill
House Education Subcommittees, 3 p.m., 406 CLOB
Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Legislative Day 22