RPEC Scores Two Key Legislative Victories
Sini Die, the end of the legislative session, occurred on April 23. RPEC scored two big victories and many of our priority bills successfully passed through the Legislature and have either been signed or will be signed by the Governor. A detailed end-of-session report will be featured in the spring issue of the membership newsletter, which you will receive by mail in late May.
Two quick items of note include the successful passage of SB 5350, a bill that our members advocated for throughout the legislative session. Thank you for your tireless advocacy of the bill. With your help, concerning amendments, which were tagged onto the bill as it moved through the House, were ultimately defeated. The bill ultimately passed the Legislature in its original form without amendment. Thus, on July 1 of this year, PERS 1 and TRS 1 retirees will receive a one-time cost-of-living adjustment. The bill also requires the Select Committee on Pension Policy (SCPP) to study and recommend to the Legislature a proposal to provide a recurring COLA. PERS 1 and TRS 1 are the only retirees who do not currently receive a recurring COLA. Read more in the end-of-session report published in the spring edition of the membership newsletter.
Also, RPEC triumphed with partner organizations in securing support for a proviso in the final budget act that requires the Health Care Authority (HCA) to listen to public sector retirees and to take your concerns and priorities into account when making policy decisions. The proviso provides funding for the agency to produce a report to the Legislature about the stakeholder engagements that RPEC has been promoting since March. The agency also is required to report to the Legislature on the availability of government self-insured plans that have benefits equal to or greater than those of the Uniform Medical Plan Classic Medicare but are more affordable.
Work remains with the SCPP and HCA this summer and fall. Learn more about our next steps at the monthly Legislative Calls, which begin on May 5 from 2-3 p.m. Visit www.rpecwa.org for log-in details. The end-of-session report will also be posted to the RPEC website by late May.