HJ96: VaLORS; JLARC to study increasing hazardous duty retirement benefits.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 96

Offered January 10, 2018
Prefiled January 9, 2018
Directing the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study increasing hazardous duty retirement benefits for certain categories of law-enforcement officers. Report.
Patron-- Hurst

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth provides supplemental hazardous duty retirement benefits (hazardous duty benefits) to members of the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System (VaLORS) (§ 51.1-211 et seq.) pursuant to § 51.1-217; and

WHEREAS, hazardous duty benefits for VaLORS members represent a public policy determination that the risks of hazardous duty should be rewarded with increased retirement pay; and

WHEREAS, it is in the interest of the Commonwealth to provide adequate compensation to all of its law-enforcement officers so as to continue to recruit and retain skilled and dedicated officers; and

WHEREAS, in its 2008 Review of State Employee Total Compensation, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission determined that Alcoholic Beverage Control special agents, campus police officers, Capitol Police officers, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries conservation police officers, Virginia Marine Resources Commission police officers, State Police commercial vehicle enforcement officers, corrections officers, and probation officers regularly perform duties that may be considered hazardous; and

WHEREAS, the risks encountered by these categories of law-enforcement officers merit consideration as to whether those officers should receive additional hazardous duty benefits comparable to those received by state police officers regardless of when such officers were hired; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission be directed to study increasing hazardous duty benefits for certain VaLORS members.

In conducting its study, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) shall study the impact, feasibility, scope, and cost of making certain members of the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System (§ 51.1-211 et seq.) eligible for additional hazardous duty benefits, regardless of when such members were hired or the multiplier applied to such members' creditable service. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall examine increasing hazardous duty benefits for Capitol Police officers, campus police officers, conservation police officers in the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, special agents of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, law-enforcement officers employed by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, correctional officers, correctional officers employed at a juvenile correction facility, parole officers, and commercial vehicle enforcement officers employed by the Department of State Police. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall review any other issues it deems relevant and make recommendations as appropriate.

Technical assistance shall be provided to JLARC by the Virginia Retirement System. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to JLARC for this study, upon request.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2018, and the chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state whether JLARC intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.