RPEC Weekly ACTION Newsletter – 1-17-2020
In This Edition
- Plan 1 COLA Revisited in 2020 Legislative Session
- Other Key Bills
- WA State Legislative Bill Summary
The 60-day 2020 Legislative Session kicked off this past Monday, January 13th. Once again, we are working closely with legislators and our membership to work in coordination to pass legislation that benefits public sector retirees in Washington State.
Our 2020 Legislative Day is scheduled for Monday, February 3rd and it looks like we will have a showing of well over 200 members of RPEC and WEA-Retired in attendance. Attendees will be given details and handouts of issues RPEC is currently pursuing and will be sent off to the Capitol to meet with their respective legislators that afternoon. That evening, RPEC is hosting an informal ‘meet and greet’ with legislators, where members can further discuss with them issues affecting public sector retirees.
Plan 1 COLA Revisited in 2020 Legislative Session
We are again supporting HB 1390/SB 5400, which provide for a 3% pension increase for retirees in the Public Employees’ and Teachers’ Retirement Systems Plan. If enacted, and effective July 1, 2020, the increase would be capped at $62.50 per month. Both bills were held up in committees during the 2019 session, and we are pressing for both bills to be passed from committee to floor votes this session.
While we appreciate Governor Inslee’s 2020 budget supplemental proposal which includes a 1-1/2% pension increase for Plan 1 retirees, capped at $22.00 per month, it is simply not enough to offset the years of inflation and medical cost increases faced by our members who went for so long without a pension increase. We must continue to fight for a permanent cost of living adjustment for Plan 1 retirees, as well as the fiscal stability of Plans 2 and 3.
Other Key Bills
A few other bills that RPEC is supporting this session include:
- HB 1085/SB 5469 – Requiring the State to cover at least 50% of the monthly premium for Medicare-eligible retirees under PEBB.
- HB 1220/SB 5275 – Adding a nonvoting representative from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to the Public Employees’ Benefits Board (PEBB).
- SB 5184 & SB 5292 – Concerning prescription drug cost transparency
WA State Legislative Bill Summary
There are several other bills that would impact retirees. We are currently compiling a comprehensive list of these bills along with information regarding their sponsors, status and RPEC’s position. We will be including this list in our Weekly ACTION Newsletters and on our website beginning next week.