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HB 1789, if passed, would modify the Local Government Code (Section 141.032) regarding longevity pay. Namely, the bill would state that longevity pay for fire fighters and police officers in municipalities should receive at least $4 additional per month and for an indefinite period (as opposed to the 25 years currently in code).
It is not the responsibility of
the state to dictate compensation terms to municipalities. But because many related regulations are already in place, we sympathize with the practical intent of this bill, which is to attract and retain talent at the local level.
However, we find this proposal to be an unjustified extension of state power. Such a blanket policy does not take local conditions into consideration and erodes the legitimacy of local government. The proposed change is also a mandated drain on taxpayer money.
Due to the aforementioned conflicts in regard to our liberty principles, we remain neutral on HB 1789.