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PBA leads from the front with passage of important legislation

Time proven process works to improve benefits of its members through H.B. 447
 
During the 2006 legislative short session a very important piece of legislation was passed into law and signed by Governor Mike Easley. Before H.B. 447, North Carolina local government police officers shot or otherwise injured feloniously, in the line of duty, could have their retirement contribution withheld and the employment time extended for the period they were recovering from their wounds/injuries. This resulted in a three fold loss for the officer. First, the physical injury, pain and suffering; then, the loss of his/her retirement benefit; and finally, having to work additional time before eligibility for retirement. The PBA did not believe this was our state law makers’ intent when these laws went into effect. Since learning about this loophole from a shooting involving one of our law enforcement members in 2002, the PBA pushed for legislation to resolve this serious issue.  In 2005, Representative Rick Glazier (Cumberland County) and Rick Eddins (Wake County) introduced H.B. 447, Law Enforcement Officer’s Creditable Service/Workers’ Compensation (Loophole) at PBA’s request. H.B. 447 provides that local government employees must pay their portion of the officer’s retirement benefits while the officer is out on injured leave.
 
 
 
 
 
On 4-27-06, H.B. 447 was passed by the House by a 114-0 vote. On Monday evening, June 19, 2006, HB 447 unanimously passed the Senate 46-0 as PBA leaders and members looked on from the Senate Galley. Following the vote, members gathered with Senators to thank them for their support especially Senator Tony Rand (Cumberland and Bladen Co) who was instrumental in getting the bill to the floor. On Thursday, June 22, 2006, HB 447 was returned to the House for concurrence where the bill unanimously passed again by a vote of 115-0.  On June 29, 2006, Governor Mike Easley signed the bill into law.
 
The PBA was very appreciative of the efforts of both Rep. Rick Glazier and Rep. Rick Eddins. Their bipartisan support of this important legislation showed their commitment to law enforcement and the PBA’s ability to work through both parties to reach a consensus on legislation. On June 28, 2006, representatives from the Mid-East Chapter, Cary Chapter, Triangle Chapter, and the Southeastern Chapter met with Rep. Glazier at the General Assembly to offer their heartfelt thanks for his tireless efforts. On July 29, 2006, Rep. Glazier and Rep. Eddins were recognized at the NCPBA state board meeting for their efforts. Both representatives were presented a plaque of appreciation and board members from across the state offered their personal thanks. 
 
 
 
This legislation once again shows why the PBA is at the forefront and is “The Voice of Law Enforcement.” The PBA has sponsored, authored or directly supported more legislation in North Carolina than all other North Carolina Law Enforcement groups combined.
 
No other North Carolina law enforcement groups or other employee organization comes close to providing this level of legislative support for working law enforcement professionals on issues designed to improve law enforcement labor and work life conditions.

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