Sometimes No News Is…


Sometimes no news is big news at the capitol. This week, the lack of action on two topics made news.

Last week we reported the nuclear power bill (HF561) was amended in subcommittee and voted out to be considered in the full Senate Commerce Committee. The Committee was scheduled to vote on the bill mid-week; however, the meeting was cancelled at the last minute. The lobby rumor mill (the official source of all rumors) had Senate leadership needing more time to solidify the “yes” majority in the Committee. In Capitol jargon, this year is a “Pension Year.” This traditionally means pension legislation can/will be proposed and discussed during session. The Public Retirement Systems Committee, which is charged with reviewing and evaluating the State’s pension systems (including the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS), the Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System of Iowa (Code Chapter 411), the Department of Public Safety Peace Officers’ Retirement System (PORS), and the Judicial Retirement System), meets during the interim prior to the even numbered pension years. This Committee hears overviews of the systems’ status and evaluates whether or not recommendations to the General Assembly for changes to benefits, contribution rates or other changes are desired or needed.

The Committee met earlier last fall over two days, taking testimony from actuaries, pension system heads, beneficiaries, employer groups, and the legislative services agency, but did not discuss making any recommendations for legislative pension changes. This left a third somewhat unusual final meeting to be scheduled early during  session to make final determinations about any recommendations. That final meeting happened Monday.

Please see full update below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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