Legislation that would limit how and when public school system employees are allowed to retire and then be rehired is pending final passage in the Senate. The author of House Bill 519, Rep. Page Cortez, said Monday morning that his proposal could come up as soon as this afternoon — it’s going to have be sooner than later, the regular session must adjourn in one week, by 6 p.m. on June 21.

The Ind reviewed the retire-rehire policy in a cover story shortly after the session convened and found abuses in the Lafayette School System and anecdotal evidence of similar challenges in other parishes. From the beginning of the session back in late March, Cortez’s bill was viewed as a compromise fix by several players, from business and industry to one of the state’s main teachers’ lobbies.

Cortez, R-Lafayette, predicts swift passage of his bill in the Senate, although in what form wasn’t something he was sure about heading into the final week of session. “I think there will be a few people who try to find reasons to be against it,” he says, “but I’ve been told there won’t be many problems.

So far, there is only one substantive amendment pending on the Senate floor. Sponsored by Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, it would exempt certain retirees hired by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.

According to an analysis of Cortez’s bill by the Legislative Fiscal Office, the resulting savings from the measure being enacted could potentially top $100 million annually. To take a look at the fiscal note, click here

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