LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Massive first-year turnover costs the state more than real raises

Apr 21, 2023

The General Assembly returned from Spring Break this week with budget proposals from both the Governor and House on the table. We expect the Senate's version within the next few weeks. House Speaker Tim Moore said Thursday that he expects the session to adjourn in June.

SEANC's lobbying team continues to point out to lawmakers the need for real raises and investment in state employee recruitment and retention, with high vacancy rates throughout state government. More than 37% of new hires quit before the end of their first year, which creates substantial turnover costs. These new employees often leave because of low wages and minimal prospects of meaningful raises in the future.

Legislators would be better off investing in salaries and wages to keep folks around than wasting money on training them only to see them leave.

As we wait for the Senate budget, SEANC took a stand on two bills that directly impact state employees and retirees. Government Relations Director Suzanne Beasley spoke to the Senate Health Committee in support of Senate Bill 321, State Treasurer Dale Folwell's attempt to rein in medical debt. This bill would restrict hospitals from predatory practices like high-interest rates and protect patients from outrageous methods used by debt collectors.

SEANC also opposed House Bill 410 in the House Banking Committee. This bill would allow virtually anyone to join a credit union, essentially turning them into conventional banks, among other significant changes detrimental to state employees and retirees.

Senate Bill 87, which would eliminate payroll deduction of dues and products for state employees, and Senate Bill 254, which would open up information regarding personnel actions in an employee's personnel file, remain in the Senate Rules Committee and have yet to be calendared for a hearing.