RPEC Weekly ACTION Newsletter – 1-31-2020
IN THIS EDITION
- Bills Impacting Retirees Continue to Move
- Plan 1 COLA Update
- WA State Legislative Bill Summary
BILLS IMPACTING RETIREES CONTINUE TO MOVE
Here are some updates on bills we are supporting.
HB 1562/SB 5601- Concerning health care benefit management
This bill establishes a system of oversight and regulation for Benefit Managers, who often act as a hidden middleman between health insurers, providers, and patients. The House bill received a hearing in the Committee on Health Care & Wellness on January 21st and the Senate companion bill is scheduled for Executive Session in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term today. We are hopeful that both the bills will be passed out of their respective committees by the February 7th cutoff date.
SB 6113 – Creating a central insulin purchasing program
This would create a work group to study the feasibility of utilizing the purchasing power of the state to bulk purchase insulin on behalf of all Washingtonians. Currently, those who rely on insulin are often unable to afford their supply due to price increases. This bill has been referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee and received a hearing on January 29th. We will be working to help ensure it is passed out of this committee and continues to move forward.
HB 1317/SB 5392 – Establishing the profession of dental therapist
This bill creates licensing and training requirements for Dental Therapists, who will be allowed to perform routine dental services under the supervision of Dentist practice. The House Bill has been referred to the Rules Committee and is still waiting for a possible floor vote, while the Senate Companion has been referred to the Health & Long Term Care Committee and is awaiting a hearing.
PLAN 1 COLA UPDATE
Our Lobbyist Emily Murphy reports that RPEC members will need to keep the pressure on Legislators through the end of the session to ensure an adequate COLA for Plan 1 members is passed this year. It is vital that our members continue to contact their Legislators to encourage them to support the increase provided by HB 1390/SB 5400.
There is an alternative proposal that would provide retirees with only a one-time 1.5% increase, capped at $22 per month. We need retirees to send a clear message that a more substantial increase is necessary to keep pace with the 15% inflation rate over the last decade while Plan 1 members have only received a one time 1.5% COLA.
ACTION: Please call your Legislators at 1-800-562-6000 and ask them to support HB 1390/SB 5400, a much needed 3% increase for Plan 1 retirees.
WA STATE LEGISLATIVE BILL SUMMARY
If you are interested in seeing the full list of bills we are tracking, please visit the link below.http://www.rpecwa.org/bill-summary-1-31-2020/
Full Text and updates on these bills can be found by searching for the bill number at: https://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/