(a) The equal pay commission shall study both the methodology and funding for the implementation of a gender discrimination prohibition and shall prepare reports for submission to the Legislature which include:
(1) An analysis of state job descriptions which measures the inherent skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions of various jobs and classifications; and
(2) A review of similar efforts to eliminate gender-based wage differentials implemented by other governmental entities in this and other states.
(b) The commission shall submit an initial report with recommendations for implementation of a gender discrimination prohibition to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance not later than July 1, 2000, and shall submit status reports annually thereafter.
(c) Based upon the findings and recommendations in its report, the commission may propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this article.
(d) The Legislature finds that it has not fully assessed the potential cost to the state if the provisions of sections three and four of this article are implemented and that those provisions should not be implemented until a reasonable estimate of the amount of public funds that may be required for appropriation and expenditure as a result of the implementation can be calculated. Accordingly, notwithstanding any other provisions of this article to the contrary, the provisions of sections three and four of this article shall not become effective until enactment of general law specifically providing an effective date of implementation of those sections. During the interim period between the 2002 regular session of the Legislature and the 2003 regular session of the Legislature, the equal pay commission shall, in the manner prescribed by the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, meet and consult with the joint standing committee on the judiciary, the joint committee on finance and others as may be prescribed for the purposes of conducting a joint assessment of budgetary or other financial impact on the state if the provisions of sections three and four of this article are implemented. Prior to the 2003 regular session of the Legislature, those directed to conduct the joint assessment shall report their findings to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and, if warranted, report any recommendations for the passage of legislation that would effectively lessen or eliminate the cost of implementation of sections three and four of this article in a manner that is consistent with achieving the purposes for which this article was initially enacted.