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The bill would provide the Department of Public Safety with the option of compensating its peace officers for overtime worked with compensatory leave, rather than payment. It is assumed that compensating officers with compensatory leave rather than payment would spare payroll costs. While it is unknown how often DPS would opt to exercise this new option, presumably the bill would have a positive, if undetermined, fiscal impact.
SB 1576 would allow overtime pay to be accrued by working more than eight hours a day, rather than more than 40 hours in a week. The current pay provision allows an additional compensation of up to 15% of the officer’s regular monthly salary. This bill would propose two different payment schemes; (1) “allowing or requiring the officer to take compensatory leave at the rate of 1-1/2 hours of leave for each hour of overtime earned; or (2) “paying the officer for the overtime hours earned at the rate equal to 1-1/2 times the officer’s regular hourly pay rate.” The overtime compensation provided by this section would overrule the section on “Overtime Compensation for Employees Subject to Fair Labor Standards Act (Sec 659.015, Government Code”.
SB 1576 is within the purview of limited government because it provides a flexible payment system for overtime. However, this bill would also make it easier for officers to accrue more overtime by calculating work time based on the amount of time worked per day versus the amount of time worked in a calendar week. Allowing peace officers to easily accrue additional overtime would force taxpayers and the state to have a heavier financial burden. Balancing these conflicting principles, we remain neutral.