It’s that time of year again! Each year states practice the rights provided by the Tenth Amendment to hold legislative sessions where representatives meet to draft and vote on legislation and policies. Today, NPPC shares part two of 2022’s state legislative session recap.

Alaska: Since lawmakers closed the defined-benefit pension plan to public employees, Alaska has struggled severely with the recruitment and retention of its public employees. This year HB 220 was introduced, a bill that sought to provide employees an opportunity to choose between the defined-benefit or defined-contribution plans offered by the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Alaska and the teachers’ retirement system. While the bill passed out of the House Labor and Commerce and Finance Committees, it died at the end of the season when no further action was taken.  

Kansas: In this session, Senate Republicans introduced but failed to move SB 553 which would take away pensions from all future public employees starting July 1, 2024, and move them to a thrift-savings plan. KPERS actuaries and State Budget Officials projected the long-term cost of this proposal to be a whopping $6.7 billion. In positive news, lawmakers appropriated $1.125 billion to the KPERS trust fund, which will help strengthen the plan. 

Oklahoma: This year, Keeping Oklahoma’s Promise (KOP) and key lawmakers in the Senate advocated for HB 2486, a bill seeking to return all current and new Oklahoma state employees back into a defined-benefit pension system, however, the bill died due to strong opposition from national anti-pension groups weighing in heavily with Republican legislators. SB 891, a bill that would convert the Oklahoma Teacher Retirement System (OTRS) to a defined-contribution plan posed a possible threat but died before making it to the Senate floor.