HR Legislative Update

Earlier this week, Governor Scott released his recommended budget for the upcoming state fiscal year which will begin on July 1, 2011. The Governor’s recommended budget contained significant proposed changes to state employee pensions and other benefit programs. Please remember that at this time, the changes are merely ideas proposed by the Governor for consideration by the full Legislature. The changes cannot take effect without legislative approval.


We know that there will be many questions and concerns regarding these proposed changes as they make their way through the legislative process. Please know that USF’s Office of Government Relations staff is in Tallahassee and they are closely monitoring all bills that could impact USF’s employees.


Please also remember that the legislative process is lengthy, and proposed legislation can undergo many changes before becoming a law. Because these proposals are in the early stages, I encourage you to stay informed on the proposed legislation and to be patient as the process unfolds. Making a benefit or retirement decision based solely on speculation that the program might change can be costly and unnecessary. If the Legislature elects to make any changes to health insurance or the Florida Retirement System, employees will still have the opportunity to consider the implications of any pending laws prior to the implementation date and make informed decisions about any desired changes that may affect their personal situation.


In addition, like all citizens of the State of Florida, you have a voice and can communicate your concerns about any proposed legislation to the lawmakers in your area. If you plan to contact your representatives, it is important for you to know that, by State law, your communication must be done during non-work hours and cannot be made using university equipment (phones, email, Internet, etc.) Your communication should be made as a citizen of the State of Florida and not based on your affiliation with a public employer.


Should legislation pass and be signed into law by the Governor, we will communicate the impact of the changes to the university community with sufficient time for each employee to make an informed choice. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns that you would like to discuss, please contact your Human Resources Service Center Benefits Representative or your regional HR office.