Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/06/2001 11:34 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 145(FIN)                                                                                               
     "An Act relating  to regional and village  public safety                                                                   
     officers;  relating  to  the expansion  of  the  village                                                                   
     public safety  officer program to include  the provision                                                                   
     of  probation  and  parole   supervision  services;  and                                                                   
     relating  to  retirement  benefits  for  village  public                                                                   
     safety officers."                                                                                                          
Representative   Croft   summarized  that   the   legislation                                                                   
supports  four new village  public safety  officers and  four                                                                   
new constables. He  observed that the original  intent was to                                                                   
add six of each.                                                                                                                
Members  were  provided  with  Amendment 1  and  Amendment  2                                                                   
(copies on file).                                                                                                               
Co-Chair Williams  MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment 1.  [Amendment 1                                                                   
would provide  for a ruling  from the United  States Internal                                                                   
Revenue Service  permitting the retirement system  to include                                                                   
village public safety officers.]                                                                                                
SENATOR  RICK HALFORD,  SPONSOR testified  in support  of the                                                                   
legislation. He  explained that Amendment 1 was  requested by                                                                   
the  Administration.  The  amendment would  not  take  affect                                                                   
until the ruling.                                                                                                               
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
Senator  Halford explained  that  Amendment 2  would add  the                                                                   
regional  public  safety officer  in  the category  of  peace                                                                   
officer  and clarify  that  they are  a  new category.  There                                                                   
would  be three  tiers.  Two would  be  in  the direct  state                                                                   
system. One  would be in  the contracted system.  These would                                                                   
be statewide  public safety  officer, regional public  safety                                                                   
officer and  the village public  safety officer. This  is the                                                                   
career  track for  the  VPSO system.  He  clarified that  the                                                                   
amendment  addresses regional  public safety officers.  There                                                                   
are  only four.  The  regional  public safety  officer  title                                                                   
replaces the title of constable.  The positions would be tied                                                                   
to  the village  public  safety officers  instead  of to  the                                                                   
state troopers.  They would go  into the public  safety list.                                                                   
They would  have the same  training provisions  as envisioned                                                                   
under the constable system.                                                                                                     
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                              
In  response  to  a question  by  Vice-Chair  Bunde,  Senator                                                                   
Halford  explained   that  there   were  concerns   with  the                                                                   
involvement by  the IRS regarding the addition  of non-profit                                                                   
employees  in the state  retirement system.  An opinion  from                                                                   
the IRS  will be obtained  under the provisions  of Amendment                                                                   
Vice-Chair Bunde  observed that  the [regional public  safety                                                                   
officer] positions  would allow  upward movement on  the VPSO                                                                   
career track.  He expressed concern that the  positions could                                                                   
be filled with by persons who  were not village public safety                                                                   
officers. Senator Halford expressed  confidence that the four                                                                   
positions would  come from the  VPSO list. He stated  that he                                                                   
wanted  to  prevent  an open  testing  situation,  where  the                                                                   
highest  score without  the experience  or commitment  to the                                                                   
local community  would  receive the position.  The intent  is                                                                   
that the positions come from the  ranks of the village public                                                                   
safety officers.                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB 145 (FIN)  was REPORTED out of Committee  with a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and with  three  previously  published                                                                   
fiscal notes (#4 - ADM, #5 - DPS, and # 6 - COR).                                                                               

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