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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR Tsosie
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
2/13/06
HB
SHORT TITLE
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT STUDY
SB SJM 61
ANALYST Weber
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
Appropriation
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
FY06
FY07
None
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
SUMMARY
Senate Joint Memorial 61 requests legislative council assign an appropriate interim committee to
determine the feasibility, including costs and benefits, of including tribal law enforcement, tribal
fire departments and other tribal first responder agencies as public employers in the Public
Employees Retirement Association and that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the
governors of the nineteen pueblos in New Mexico, the president of the Navajo Nation, the
president of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, the president of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the
executive director of the Public Employees Retirement Association and the co-chairs of the New
Mexico legislative council.
Conditions described in SJM61 makes the following points:
tribal governments are not included as public employers qualified to join the Public
Employees Retirement Association
tribal public safety officers are not employees who are included in the Public Employees
Retirement Act
tribal public safety operations have become a training ground for individuals because
higher net pay from state or local police or firefighting agencies that do provide benefits
through the Public Employees Retirement Act lure tribal public safety officers away
from tribal employment
the inequity of pay and benefits impacts every tribal community's ability to recruit and
retain first responders, and also has an impact on the morale of tribal community law
pg_0002
Senate Joint Memorial 61 Page 2
enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders who respond immediately to
state and local needs on a regular basis through established mutual aid agreements
tribal first responders work shoulder-to-shoulder with state and local responders in the
harshest of conditions and perform the same duties but do not enjoy the same benefits,
such as the retirement program that state law enforcement officers enjoy through
membership in the public employees retirement association
allowing tribal police, firefighters and other first responders to be included in the public
employees retirement association programs would encourage employees to remain
employed by tribes and give the tribes a fighting chance to recruit and compete for these
employees
state law would have to be changed to permit tribal law enforcement departments, fire
departments and emergency medical services to join the public employees retirement
association
in 2004, the state of Arizona adopted legislation allowing tribal law enforcement
departments to participate in its state public safety personnel retirement system
the Arizona legislation has benefited not only tribal public service personnel, but the
state of Arizona as well, by ensuring that there are law enforcement, firefighting and
emergency medical services personnel in the most rural and remote areas of the state;
MW/yr