Unit Spotlight: St. Bernard Parish RTA
May 24, 2023
LRTA Legislative Update: SB 18 is a SUCCESS
June 1, 2023

Action Alert: Ask the House Retirement Committee to SUPPORT SB 18

Senate Bill 18 by Senator Ed Price has passed the Senate. It will now move to the House Retirement Committee.
Please write, email or call the House Retirement Committee and ask them to SUPPORT SB 18!
SB 18 provides for direct payment of additional employer contributions to be credited to a newly established PBI/COLA account designed for accumulation of funds to pay PBIs/COLAs (the PBI/COLA account).
Although this bill will not guarantee PBI/COLAs, the intent of this legislation is to garner direct funding to eventually award a 2% supplemental benefit increase every two to three years to retirees beginning in 2029 when the initial unfunded accrued liability (IUAL) is paid off.

The contact information for the House Retirement Committee is listed below.
House Retirement Committee

Rep. Phillip DeVillier (Chairman)
P. O. Box 986
Eunice, LA 70535
(337) 457-0194
Rep. John R. Illg, Jr. (Vice-Chairman)
9523 Jefferson Hwy., Suite A
River Ridge, LA 70123
(504) 736-7030
Rep. Roy Daryl Adams
P.O. Box 217
Jackson, LA 70748
(225) 634-7470
Rep. Tony Bacala
15482 Airline Hwy., Suite A
Prairieville, LA 70769
(225) 677-8020
Rep. Delisha Boyd
3401 General De Gaulle Drive, Suite 5076
New Orleans, LA 70114
(504) 605-6552
Rep. Julie Emerson 
306 North Church St. 
Carencro, LA 70520
(337) 886-4687
Rep. Gabe Firment
181 Barron Road
Pollock, LA 71467
(318) 765-9606
Rep. Aimee Freeman
8600 Oak Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 861-1614
Rep. Paul Hollis
600 N. Highway 190, Suite 202A
Covington, LA 70433
(985) 871-4680
Rep. Barry Ivey
P.O. Box 78286
Baton Rouge, LA 70837
(225) 261-5739
Rep. Patrick O. Jefferson 
504 N. Main St. 
Homer, LA 71040
(318) 927-2519
Rep. Vanessa Caston LaFleur 
2370 Towne Center Blvd., 1st Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(985) 925-6880
Rep. Richard Nelson
2001 Lakeshore Drive
Mandeville, LA 70448
(985) 222-2638
Rep. Phillip Eric Tarver
132 Jamestown
Lake Charles, LA 70605
(337) 472-8186 
Here’s a script you can use to email or call the committee members:
I am writing to ask that you SUPPORT Senate Bill 18 by Senator Ed Price, which outlines a new model for the employer to pay for supplemental benefits in a more direct methodology. Supplemental benefits in Louisiana are referred to as cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) or permanent benefit increases (PBIs).
Louisiana’s retired teachers have received only two COLAs (2016 and 2022) equaling about 3.5% of inflation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for this time period was 17.92%. Essentially, $1 in 2016 was worth about $1.24 in 2022. Research has shown the great economic impact pension benefits have on local and state economies. Please support a bill that will address this issue and protect the purchasing the power of retirees.
SB 18 simply proposes a different yet reliable method for employers to fund COLAs. COLAs will not be automatic and will still require legislative approval.
This new approach will not create new debts to the retirement system, because there will be employer safeguards put into place to control for costs (such as capping the employer rate at 2.5% annually). The essential pension reforms that have continued to reduce the retirement debt and increasing its funding level annually will also remain in place.
In 2020, both the House and Senate chambers passed resolutions requesting the state retirement systems to review new methods to provide “meaningful benefit increases on a regularly scheduled basis, designed to preserve the purchasing power of the recipients.” SB 18 is in response to the legislature’s requests.
With SB 18, COLA/PBI frequency becomes much more predictable and their future costs becomes much more transparent. In addition to establishing employer safeguards to control for costs, SB 18 retains both the legislature’s full control over granting COLAs/PBIs and beneficial pension reforms.
By supporting this legislation, you are preserving the buying power of retired educators and providing for a greater economic impact on the business and industry in Louisiana. Thank you for your consideration of this important request.
If you would like to use our VoterVoice tool, click here to ask the House Retirement Committee to SUPPORT SB 18. (Please note: due to constituency restrictions of the platform, the first 400 respondents can send emails to the committee. All messages sent thereafter will be based on constituency and may not work for some members. In that instance, we recommend emailing committee members individually)
Please contact committee members today!
Rodney R. Watson
LRTA Executive Director