4/7/2011 ATRS Legislative Summary - Final Report on Acts Affecting ATRS in the 2011 Session
This is the final update by ATRS on the 2011 Session of the Arkansas General Assembly. The General Assembly passed and Governor Beebe approved nineteen (19) Acts that affect ATRS, its members, and employers. All nineteen (19) Acts were supported by the ATRS Board. All legislation opposed by the ATRS Board died in the Public Retirement Committee. Due to the stock market losses in 2008 and 2009, this legislative session was not focused on benefit enhancements but rather upon cost cutting, clarification, and strengthening areas of ATRS law that had been problematic in the past. The actuaries for ATRS developed a phrase in most of the actuarial reports to the Public Retirement Committee on the bills in the ATRS package. The phrase was the bill "strengthens the integrity" of ATRS. The bills in the ATRS package also reflect a streamlining of ATRS operations and substantial cost savings on ATRS operations.

ATRS is grateful for leadership and direction provided by Senator Johnny Key and Representative Les Carnine, the Co-Chairs of the Public Retirement Committee on retirement issues in the 2011 Session. In fact, great thanks are in order for the entire Public Retirement Committee that had the difficult task of sorting through so many retirement bills and assisting ATRS in having a comprehensive approach to cost cutting, clarification, and elimination of loopholes in the benefit structure. ATRS would be remiss if it did not also give a special thanks to Representative Johnnie Roebuck for the quality input she provided to ATRS throughout the session. ATRS appreciates all the assistance and support provided by the entire General Assembly. All the calls and emails were greatly appreciated. A special thanks is given to all the members of the General Assembly who sponsored legislation for ATRS:

Representative Randy Stewart
Representative Butch Wilkins
Representative Les Carnine
Representative Homer Lenderman
Representative Allen Kerr
Representative Jim Nickels
Senator Jeremy Hutchinson
Senator Jimmy Jeffress
Senator Johnny Key
Senator Gene Jeffress

Many additional thanks have to provided to the ATRS Board for its leadership in developing and supporting the ATRS legislative package. The retiree and educational support groups for members were instrumental in assisting ATRS in obtaining approval of the legislative package. All the support of the package provided by ATRS members and retirees is also greatly appreciated. The success of the ATRS legislative package in the 2011 Session is a tribute to the total teamwork and resolve of so many individuals and groups that a proper thank you is difficult, if not impossible. Without the total group effort, the legislative package would not have been successful. The bottom line is that ATRS is grateful for the support provided to ATRS by all those involved.

If you have questions or need more information, please feel free to call me on my direct line at (501) 682-1820, my cell at (501) 318-5998, or email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . In addition, if you use Twitter, you can follow events at ATRS and issues of interest by finding the Twitter ID of ATRS or find George Hopkins in the Twitter directory. Also remember that you can go to the ATRS website at www.artrs.gov and sign up to get updates from ATRS automatically on your public or private email address, or both. The update attached to this email is also available on the ATRS website by the waving Arkansas flag. Over 2,300 people have already signed up to receive this email and other ATRS information via this list. Use this service to keep up with your retirement system.

Respectfully,

George Hopkins

Click here to view the Final Act Update

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 April 2011 )