STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS
Friday, April 10, 1998 – 8:45 a.m.
JRW East Conference Room
The regular meeting of the State Board of Examiners was held April 10, 1998 at 8:45 a.m. in the JRW East Conference Room.
Governor Philip E. Batt, Chairman of the Board
Secretary of State Pete T. Cenarrusa
Attorney General Alan G. Lance
State Controller and Secretary of the Board J. D. Williams
Sub-Committee members present:
David High, Office of Attorney General
Darrell Manning, Office of Governor
H. W. Turner, Office of State Controller
Ben Ysursa, Office of Secretary of State
Roger Madsen, Department of Labor
John McAllister, Department of Labor
Laura Steffler, State Treasurer’s Office
Mike Moore, Bond Counsel
Richard Transtrum, Department of Transportation
Sue Simmons, Department of Transportation
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
1. Request for authorization to pay 227.0 hours compensatory time for Marlene Duclos accrued from May, 1997 to March 31, 1998. Most of this overtime was accrued while she was a Food Service Officer and some after she was promoted to Food Service Supervisor.
2. Request for authorization to pay 349.0 hours compensatory time for Deborah A. Shields-Coursey, Associate Warden, and 134.5 hours for Timothy B. Higgins, Correctional Lieutenant. The compensatory time was accrued because of heavy work loads and the inability to take the time off:
STATE BOARD OF EXAMINER
April 10, 1998
3. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR – John McAllister, Deputy Director
Request for authorization to reimburse moving expenses for Gary Armentrout, IT Programmer Analyst Senior, in the amount of $13,500.
4. UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO
Request for authorization to reimburse moving expenses for Michael Bohn, Athletic Director, in the amount of $6,880.
OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
5. Request for authorization to grant bonuses not to exceed $2,000 per employee during this fiscal year, in addition to the prior adjustment for PERSI savings, pursuant to Idaho Code § 59-1603(7).
6. Notification that Mr. Michael J. Kane, of the firm of Anderson, Kane & Tobiason, has been appointed to represent the Department of Transportation In the Matter of the Driving Privileges of Joseph Coughlan, Case No. CV-98-01320D, pursuant to Idaho Code § 67-1409.
7. Notification that Mr. Jed W. Manwaring, of the firm of Evans, Keane, LLP, has been appointed to represent the State Insurance Fund in the SIF v. G&D Steel, Inc., Case No. CV-OC-97-04309D; SIF v. J.D. Construction, Inc., Case No. CV-97-3478; SIF v. J.J. Enterprises, Inc., Case No. CV-OC-96-01124D; and Future SIF Collection Cases, pursuant to Idaho Code § 67-1409.
8. Notification that Michael J. Kane, attorney at law, has been appointed to represent the State of Idaho in any appeal from a hearing officer’s decision filed pursuant to the authority of Idaho Code § 18-8002A, Automatic License Suspension Program, pursuant to Idaho Code § 67-1409.
Governor: I will call the Board of Examiners to order. How come people accrue so much overtime when they are a food service officer? Are they under manned, under women, or whatever? Darrell says yes. Do you want to answer that?
Darrell Manning: I can tell you, Governor, what they told us – that this lady was in a remote area and it was very hard to get people to replace them. They looked for someone to replace her supervisor and finally elevated her to a supervisor position and they had to back fill her so they got into a program where they got behind the 8-ball and she…..
STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS
April 10, 1998
Governor: Where was she?
Darrell Manning: Orofino. They just got behind the 8-ball and over obligated their time.
Governor: Okay. What about the Correctional Lieutenant, the next one?
Darrell Manning: The Correctional Lieutenant – that was Louisiana and Texas when they had the problems down there. They sent this guy down there to oversee that. He had to spend the time. That is what that one is about.
Governor: Do you have to get permission to grant those bonuses?
Attorney General: Yes. To give more than $1,000.
Governor: Are your folks worth more, or what is it?
Attorney General: Well, some of them are.
Governor: Is there a motion for the Consent Agenda?
Secretary of State: I move the approval of the Consent Agenda.
Attorney General: Second, with a question. It has to do with the $13,500. I see Roger back there from the Department of Labor.
Governor: That seems like a lot of moving. It might be a hard person to get. What’s our policy?
State Controller: Governor, the policy is that anything over $5,000 has to come to the Board. In this particular case - having been in this same position - trying to get these types of people who are very rare, it is just one of those things you have to pay to get these kind of people now days. Ben has a comment.
Ben Ysursa: Governor, members of the Board, about $3,500 of that is the real estate expense that is included in our moving regs, so it does look a little higher than normal.
Governor: How does the IRS look at those kind of deals?
State Controller: Governor, there are special tax provisions that are included on the W-2. It is considered income.
STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS
April 10, 1998
Attorney General: That’s fine. That is all I need.
Governor: Any further discussion? There being none, all in favor will say aye.
Secretary of State
Opposed, nay. The Chair votes aye. The vote is carried.
9. OFFICE OF STATE TREASURER – Laura Steffler, Fiscal Officer; and Mike Moore, Bond Counsel
Request for authorization to issue tax anticipation notes in an amount not to exceed $1,041,727,500.00. These notes would be issued prior to June 30, 1999, as necessary and pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 32 of Title 63, of the Idaho Code.
Governor: We now have a Regular Agenda. Request for authorization to issue tax anticipation notes. Is someone from the Treasurer’s Office here?
Laura Steffler: Good morning, my name is Laura Steffler and I am the Fiscal Officer in the State Treasurer’s Office. The Treasurer’s Office is preparing to issue tax anticipation notes for Fiscal Year 1999 to provide operating funds when the general fund is in deficit. Fiscal Year 1997’s tax anticipation notes grossed over $18 million and netted $6.2 million for the general fund after interest and issuance expenses. In addition, our office earned nearly $12 million from pooled investments from the general fund and distributed nearly $23 million in interest earnings directly to state agencies. In accordance with Section 63-3201, Idaho Code, we are requesting authorization of the Board of Examiners to issue notes not to exceed $1,156,477,500.00, which is 75% of the projected tax revenues for Fiscal Year 1999, and with that authorization I will need you to sign several copies of the resolution that our Bond Counsel, Mike Moore, has prepared.
Governor: For a practical matter, how much of that billion dollars are you going to borrow?
Laura Steffler: We haven’t sized the issue yet. Last year we issued $300 million and we would expect it would be somewhere near that.
STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS
April 10, 1998
Mike Moore: If I might, Governor and members of the Board, the sizing issue depends on two things. One, the actual deficit that we project that normally occurs around the middle of November with the public education distribution that goes out at that time. Under the Internal Revenue Service regulations we must have a deficit of at least 90% of what we issue by that time, within six months, in order to keep the interest earnings over and above the interest on the notes. So as a practical matter the state never issues the full 75% even though they are authorized to do so by state law.
Governor: Questions. The chair would entertain a motion.
Attorney General: Mr. Chairman. I would move that the Board of Examiners would approve the request for authorization.
Secretary of State: Second.
Governor: Discussion. There being none, all in favor will say aye.
Secretary of State
Opposed, nay. The Chair votes aye. The motion carries. Thank you.
State Controller: Governor, while we are completing the agenda we have some resolutions that need to be signed. We might pass them around.
Mike Moore: Actually three would be fine. One for the Treasurer’s Office, one for us and one for the Board’s official records. Some time in June we will be around to get some signatures on the actual notes and some other documents too.
10. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - Richard Transtrum, Chief of Administration; and Sue Simmons, Controller
Request for authorization to extend vacation accrual in excess of the maximum allowable limit for the following employees while working on the new Integrated Financial Management System. Because of the revised implementation date and extended support required, an extension is requested until July 1, 1998. Any excess balances accrued will be liquidated before December 30, 1998.
Harold Baxter Leonard Campbell
Kathyren Chase Tom Martin
St. Steven Hunt Jim Csencsits
Mary Mangum John Hurst
Ronald Mangum Laurie McAllister
Dee Moffat Jeff Kopsa
Kurtis Smith Ron Stricklin
Randy Hall David Hall
Governor: Okay, item #10. What is our policy on vacation accrual? What is the maximum?
State Controller: Governor, in normal circumstances an employee can accrue 336 hours.
Governor: So what you are proposing here is that these folks unavoidably got some extra time in and be allowed to exceed the accrual, but they will have to use it up by the end of the year.
State Controller: That is correct.
Governor: We have done quite a bit of this, have we not?
State Controller: Yes.
Governor: Are we violating the spirit of the law. There is a limit set for some reason. Maybe the limit is unrealistic.
State Controller: Governor, it is probably a realistic limit. That is a lot of weeks but periodically you get behind the 8-ball, particularly on these large development projects like they have been going through at Transportation with their financial systems, and you just can’t let people off. To get the project done they have to stay until it is finished. And then everybody breathes a sigh of relief, hopefully, and you take the vacation then. So, there is a safety value built in the statute that it can be waived by the Board of Examiners.
Governor: And if they don’t take it by the end of the year, they lose it. Is that correct?
State Controller: Yes, they would lose it. It is tough to penalize employees when you need them because they are valuable employees for a project. There are folks here, Governor, from Transportation – Dick Transtrum and Sue Simmons, if they want to speak.
Richard Transtrum: Good morning, Governor, members of the Board. Actually this request, Governor, deals with the implementation of our new Integrated Financial Management System and its project, as you are aware, has been going on for almost two years. We went live with the system on the first of January and as with any new system, we are trying to work all the kinks out. The effort we are undertaking now is in order to get our books completely in order by the closing of the year. We made great progress in reducing these balances of people who have accrued over the maximum but we still have a need in some cases for these folks to be available and on the job accruing overtime. As Mr. Williams said, we feel it is only fair that if we ask these people to put in the extra time that we not ask them to lose their vacation. We do have a definite plan to have all these leave balances liquidated by the end of the year.
Attorney General: Mr. Chairman, sir, each and every one of these persons is a computer programmer who is down there trying to help you get up the financial management system. Is that what you are telling us?
Richard Transtrum: Actually they are a mix of our financial services people and our information technology people. They are working as a team on this project. Some of Sue’s folks from the Controller’s Office are actually the folks working on the operational side and then the folks from our information technology section are working from that end. But it is a team effort. The technology people and the program people working together. So it is a mix – about 50-50.
Governor: This 330 hours, or whatever it is that you can accrue, then when you leave the service of the state you can collect for that?
State Controller: Yes. It is a liability of the state.
Governor: I think there are a lot of employees who are not taking vacation. They are saving it up to cash in when they get through and I think we ought to devise something to encourage people to take their vacation when it comes instead of adding it up as a savings account. All of these folks evidently have big balances when they ran into this problem.
State Controller: Governor, it could be but this project has been going on now for a couple years. This is not for the faint of heart. This has been a long term thing and it is just the natural accrual - particularly after you have been in state service for awhile you do accrue a bunch of hours every pay period.
Governor: On the farm you use it or lose it but I don’t know if that is a wise thing or not, but that is what happens at the end of the year.
Attorney General: I would like to see how many we are talking about. If some of these folks have 300 plus hours that is one thing and if some of them are asking us to approve 800 and some hours, that is a whole different kettle of fish, I think. I don’t have the hours broken down, do you?
State Controller: Knowing Sue Simmons, she probably has it at her finger tips.
Attorney General: Is that everybody?
Sue Simmons: Yes, that is everybody.
Richard Transtrum: Many of these people have significant comp time balances in addition and that is a situation where if they do leave state service, they forfeit those balances. These are folks that are only eligible to accrue on a one-to-one basis, not on a time and a half cash basis. You can see there has been a lot of long hours that have gone into this project and I think I can speak for most of these folks on the list that no one would be happier than they when we can culminate this and say, take your time off.
Governor: That is one reason our budget recommended that we didn’t take another 29 positions out of Transportation because there has been so dang much overtime, it would have been kind of penny wise and pound foolish. They were under instruction from the legislature to reduce 100 positions and they had 29 of those left. They were getting so much overtime it didn’t make sense. Well, J.D., with your wonderful machines over there could you poke a button and get me the answer as to what percentage of a person’s eligible vacation is being taken by the average employee, and how much is being stored up, like a squirrel?
State Controller: Per year? I think we could. I think Hal knows which key to push to do that.
Governor: I would just be interested in it.
State Controller: Yes, we will do that.
Attorney General: Dave High just brought me the statute that says, in emergency or unusual circumstances you can exceed the hours approved by the Board of Examiners. I guess this would be an unusual circumstance. If it pleases the court I guess I would move for approval of agenda item #10.
Secretary of State: I will second.
Governor: Any further discussion? There being none, all in favor will signify by saying aye.
Secretary of State
Opposed, nay. The Chair votes aye. The motion is carried.
WHEREUPON THE MEETING OF THE STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS was adjourned, subject to the call of the Chairman.
Governor Philip E. Batt
J. D. Williams, Secretary to the Board
and State Controller