RPEC Weekly ACTION Newsletter – January 27, 2017
Plan 1 COLA Bills are moving through the Legislature!
On January 20th, H.B. 1484 was presented in the House. This bill provides for Plan 1 retirees to receive a one-time COLA on July 1, 2017 of $2.00 per year of earned service credit. In other words, if you worked 30 years, you would see a $60 per month increase in your pension effective July 1st should this pass, providing some relief against the ever-rising cost of inflation. The Senate released a companion bill, S.B. 5556 which was read and referred to the Ways & Means committee this morning (January 27th).
H.B. 1484 was sponsored by the following Representatives in District order: Stanford (D-1), Riccelli (D-3), Ormsby (D-3), McCaslin (R-4), Haler (R-8), Bergquist (D-11), Condotta (R-12), Johnson (R-14), Peterson (D-21), Dolan (D-22), Doglio (D-22), Appleton (D-23), Chapman (D-24), Jinkins (D-27), Muri (R-28), Sawyer (D-29), Ryu (D-32), Kagi (D-32), Orwall (D-33), Gregerson (D-33), Cody (D-34), Frame (D-36), Tarleton (D-36), Santos (D-37), Sells (D-38), Senn (D-41), Macri (D-43), Lovick (D-44), Pollet (D-46), Slatter (D-48), McBride (D-48), and Stonier (D-49).
S.B. 5556 was sponsored by the following Senators in District order: Palumbo (D-1), Hawkins (R-12), Walsh (R-16), Liias (D-21), Hunt (D-22), Zeiger (R-25), Miloscia (R-30).
Thank you to all of our members who call their Representatives and Senators and encouraged them to support and sign on to these bills.
If you wish to follow the progress of the bills, you can find that information here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1484&Year=2017
We will be providing weekly updates on the bill’s progress as well as sending out ACTION Alerts as needed when voting is apparent in the House or Senate related to these bills. Your support via emails and phone calls to your legislators will be necessary in getting this bill through both chambers of the Legislature.
House Appropriations Committee hearing on Plan 1 COLA
On Thursday, January 26th, members of RPEC testified at the House Appropriations Committee hearing on bill H.B. 1484. RPEC issued a press release that can be found on our Facebook page and website at: http://www.rpecwa.org/hb-1484-plan-1-cola-house-appropriations-hearing-1-26-2017/
TVW also covered the hearing and the video can be found on our Facebook page and on our website at: http://www.rpecwa.org/hb-1484-plan-1-cola-house-appropriations-testimony/
Concern about HHS nominee and Medicare
At the confirmation hearing for the nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), it was unclear whether Price would push to voucherize Medicare. While President Trump promised on the campaign trail to leave both Medicare and Social Security alone, Price is known for his support for that proposal.
He refused to endorse the continuation of the law preventing insurance companies from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions, and allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.
As a representative, Price proposed budget process changes that would enable automatic across-the-board cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other critical services. The plan would shift the entire burden of deficit reduction onto low- and middle-income families without requiring the wealthy or profitable corporations to contribute through tax increases.
RPEC Legislative Day 2017
We are quickly approaching the deadline for registration for our annual RPEC Legislative Day. We, as a unified voice, will descend on the Capitol to visit our legislators to inform them about our issues and encourage them to support those issues.
The registration deadline is February 10th. We are having a Legislative Reception on March 7th from 6pm-8pm at the Hotel Red Lion in Olympia, where several of your legislators will be on hand for a meet & greet. The RPEC Legislative Day is on March 8th with a breakfast followed by an informative meeting about our issues featuring talking points and speakers starting at 8am, also at the Hotel Red Lion in Olympia. After that, members will then proceed to the Capitol to meet with their legislators.
RPEC Winter 2017 Quarterly Newsletter
Our quarterly newsletter is at the printer and will soon be on its way to your home. We have refreshed it for 2017 offering a new look and a new format for the New Year! If you wish to have a sneak peek, you can see it on the RPEC website at: http://www.rpecwa.org/wp-content/uploads/RPEC-Winter2017.pdf
Here is a link to the list of bills currently of focus to RPEC: http://www.rpecwa.org/bill-summary-1-27-2017/
As you can see, we have much work to do in the weeks and months ahead to continue the betterment of your retirement security. Your continued support and political action is a necessity!
Your Voice for Retirement Security!