I would imagine this bill is the first step in a long list of steps to improve the job situation for our corrections officers after the hostage situation earlier this year at the Vaughn Correctional Center that has resulted in the death of correctional officer Steven Floyd. This bill increases the multiplier for calculation of state employee pension benefits for correction officers and specified peace officers from either 1.85%, 2.0% or 2.45% to a uniform 2.5% for the first 20 years, plus 3.5% for years beyond 20 years. The increased multipliers reflect increased costs, reduced benefits and the need to recruit and retain qualified and competent correction officers and specified peace officers with a modernized pension benefit.
In addition, this bill amends the employee contribution for all correction officers and specified peace officers to a uniform 7%. Specified peace officers means (1) Probation and parole officers employed by the Department of Correction; (2) Capitol Police officers; (3) Department of Natural Resources police officers; (4) University of Delaware Police; (5) State Fire Marshal officers; (6) Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement agents; (7) Justice of the Peace Court constables; and (8) Probation and parole officers in the Serious Juvenile Offender Unit and senior probation officers employed by the Division of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families.
From the list of sponsors, it is clear that the bill enjoys wide bipartisan and cross-ideological support.
SPONSORS: Ennis, Walsh, Lawson, Carson, Miro, Cloutier, Lopez, Marshall, Pettyjohn, Poore, Bennett, Briggs King, Collins, Dukes, Keeley, Kowalko, Lynn, Mitchell, Mulrooney, D.Short, Smyk, Williams, Wilson
HISTORY: Placed in the Senate Finance Committee on 3/16/17
STATUS: Waiting for a hearing in committee.