COLA Alert 4-6-17

Dear NCRSP Leaders,

There are three COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) bills pending in the NC Senate and House right now. NCRSP supports all of them, but our obvious favorites are the ones that call for a 2% COLA rather than a 1.5% COLA. They are S 314, H 497 and H 348. (Again, we prefer the 2% COLA bills, but we do appreciate H 348.)  Right now, H 497 seems to be the front runner.  On Wednesday, H 497 won unanimous approval in the House Pensions Committee and is now on its way to the House Appropriations Committee.

All of these bills are important, but they won’t lead to a COLA unless the House and Senate APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES approve their key provisions and include those provisions in the final state budget, so contacting both the House and Senate Appropriations Chairs and Appropriations Members is our most important task.

Please pass this message along to your members and ask them to contact their legislators on the House and Senate appropriations committees (see attached list) and urge those legislators to support a 2% COLA in the final budget. There’s no time for a letter, so whether members contact their legislators by e-mail or telephone, the messages might read or sound something like this:


Dear Rep. [or Sen.] _____________________:


            I am a state retiree and one of your constituents. I ask you to support a 2% COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) whether it appears as a stand-alone bill or as a provision in the state budget. Retired teachers and state employees (TSERS) have had only had two 1% COLA’s in the last eight years (1% in 2011-’12 and 1% in 2013-’14, and we just keep falling further and further behind financially, due to the rate of inflation. Some sources say we’ve lost as much as 9% of our buying power in the last ten years. TSERS received a one-time ‘bonus’ last year, but of course this wasn’t a cumulative increase. That’s very tough when you are a retired person trying to live on a fixed income.


            So, as your constituent, I am asking for a clear response.  Will you support a 2% COLA? Please let me know.


            Thank you!


            [your name] 



**House 497  Retirement Systems 2% COLA (TSERS, Local, Judicial, and Legislative)  –Rep. Jonathan Jordan (Ashe, Watauga), Rep. Pat Hurley (Randolph), Rep. Larry Strickland (Johnston) and Rep. Chris Malone (Wake) are the primary sponsors.  All are Republicans, but the bill also has many Democrats as secondary sponsors—so it has bipartisan support.


**Senate Bill 314—Give retirees a 2% COLA—(TSERS, Judicial Retirement, and Legislative Retirement)

Sen. Joyce Waddell (Mecklenburg), Sen Don Davis (Greene, Lenoir part, Pitt part, Wayne part), and Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram (Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrell, Washington) are primary sponsors.


**House 348  Give retirees a 1.5%  COLA

Rep. Larry Bell ((Duplin part, Sampson part, Wayne part) is primary .  Other sponsors are Representatives Gale Adcock (Wake);  Ager (Buncombe);  Ball (Wake); Cecil Brockman (Guilford); Carla  Cunningham (Mecklenburg); Susan Fisher (Buncombe);  Elmer Floyd (Cumberland); Rosa Gill (Wake);  Charles Graham (Robeson);  George Graham (Craven part, Greene part, Lenoir part ); Pricey Harrison (Guilford) ; Yvonne Holley (Wake) ;  Hunter (Bertie, Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank part) ; Marvin Lucas (Cumberland); Garland Pierce (Hoke part, Richmond part, Robeson part, Robeson part, Scotland part); Amos Quick (Guilford);  Billy Richardson (Cumberland);  Brian Turner (Buncombe) 


Thanks, NCRSP leaders!  Thanks also to our intrepid lobbyists—Pam Deardorff and Dr. Lacy Presnell!  Don’t forget to share the attached list of legislators with your members!


House Appropriations CommitteeSenior ChairmanRep. 715-0795
ChairmanRep. 282-0416
ChairmanRep. 841-4137
ChairmanRep. Johnson          (704) 932-1376
ChairmanRep. Lambeth       (919)733-5747
ChairmanRep.       (919)733-5956
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5805
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5903
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5800
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5772
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5908
Vice ChairmanRep. 715-6707
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5786
Vice ChairmanRep. 715-3021
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5862
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5935
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5741
Vice ChairmanRep. K. 733-5609
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5191
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-2406
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5865
Vice ChairmanRep. 301-1450
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5974
Vice ChairmanRep. 715-3015
Vice ChairmanRep. 715-3010
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-6275
Vice ChairmanRep. 715-4946
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5757
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5732
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5905
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5820
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5782
Vice ChairmanRep. 715-9644
Vice ChairmanRep. 733-5868
Vice ChairmanRep.
MembersRep. 733-5746
Rep. 733-5746
Rep. 715-0706
Rep. 733-5860
Rep. 733-5607
Rep. J. 715-3017
Rep. L. 733-5863
Rep. 733-5872
Rep. 733-5906
Rep. Brockman            (919) 733-5825
Rep. 715-3029
Rep.   (919) 733-5809
Rep. 715-3005
Rep. 733-5787
Rep. 733-5859
Rep.  (919)733-5807
Rep. 715-3009
Rep. 715-2530
Rep.  (919) 733-5898
Rep. 715-2013
Rep.          (919)733-5959
Rep. 733-5881
Rep. 733-5824
Rep. 733-5880
Rep. C.           (919) 715-0875
Rep. G.           (919)733-5995
Rep. 733-5830
Rep. Duane 733-5755
Rep. 733-5751
Rep. 733-5758
Rep. 733-7208
Rep. 733-5530
Rep. 733-5821
Rep. 733-5775
Rep. G. 733-5733
Rep.            (919) 715-2528
Rep. 715-9664
Rep. 733-5803
Rep. 715-2009
Rep. 715-0873
Rep. 733-5902
Rep. B. Richardson (919)715-3032
Rep. W. Richardson
Rep. 733-5749
Rep. 715-3026
Rep. 733-4948
Rep. 733-5853
Rep. 715-1883
Rep. 733-5849
Rep. 733-5777
Rep. B. 715-3012
Rep. 715-2526
Rep. 733-5605
Rep.     (919)715-3014
Rep. 733-5662
Rep.       (919)715-0850
Rep. 715-8361
Senate Appropriations CommitteeCo-ChairmanSen. Harry  (919) 715-3034
Co-ChairmanSen. Kathy Harrington (919) 733-5734
Co-ChairmanSen. Brent                       (919) 733-5705
Sen. Chad 715-3036
Sen. Dan (919) 733-5752
Sen. Andrew C. 715-0690
Sen. Angela R. 733-5878
Sen. Jay J. 715-6400
Sen. Rick 301-1446
Sen. Jeff 715-8331
Sen. Paul A. Lowe, 733-5620
Sen. Louis 733-5621
Sen. Bill 733-5963
Sen. Shirley B. 733-5743
Sen. Gladys A. 715-3042
Sen. Norman W. 733-5706
Sen. Jeff 715-3050
Sen. Jerry W. 733-5870
Sen. Tommy 733-7659