RPEC Weekly ACTION Newsletter – 3-17-2020
In This Edition
- Plan 1 COLA Bill awaits Signature
- Governor expected to sign other retiree bills
- WA State Legislative Bill Summary
Plan 1 COLA Bill Awaits Signature
On Thursday, March 12th, the Legislature adjourned after passing a final supplemental budget. The budget included funding for HB 1390, the 3% increase (with a $62.50/month cap) to PERS/TRS Plan 1 retirees, which had previously passed both chambers unanimously.
The bill has been delivered to the Governor for signature, which will likely take place in the next few days. The Governor’s office has cancelled all public bill signing ceremonies, but we will share pictures from the signing when they are posted.
This bill represents the first substantial increase Plan 1 retirees will have seen since 2011 when the Uniform COLA was taken away. The success in getting this bill passed was a multiyear effort that included the successful effort in 2018 to get a one-time 1.5% increase (capped at $62.50 per month). There remains much work to be done to secure Plan 1 retirees a consistent, year over year COLA like all other retirement plans enjoy, but this increase will help retirees in the near term.
Our Executive Board and Legislative Committee will be discussing plans for the next steps in the effort to address the issue and during this interim period, we will be meeting with key Legislative allies to discuss possible future legislation.
Plan 1 Retirees will see the increase beginning with their pension payment deposited at the end of July. The increased pension payment amount will be their new monthly pension payment going forward
In the meantime, retirees should feel a sense of accomplishment in the fact that their efforts to pressure lawmakers to pass HB 1390 this year were successful.
Much appreciation should also go out to the Legislature members who supported this bill. The Executive Board, Legislative Committee, and Political Action committee will be discussing ways to show our organization’s appreciation.
RPEC members can do their part by reaching out to their individual Legislators to thank them.
The toll-free legislative hotline number is 1-800-562-6000.
Email addresses for Legislators can be found at: https://app.leg.wa.gov/Rosters/Members
Governor expected to sign other retiree bills
Several other important bills have been passed the Legislature and will likely be signed by the Governor in the coming days:
- HB 2662 – Reducing the total cost of insulin
- SB 5601 – Concerning health care benefit management
- SB 6088 – Establishing a prescription drug affordability board
- SB 6074 – Reauthorizing and expanding the financial fraud and identity theft crimes investigation and prosecution program
WA State Legislative Bill Summary
If you are interested in seeing the full list of bills we were tracking this session, please visit the following link: http://www.rpecwa.org/bill-summary-3-17-2020/
Full Text and updates on these bills can be found by searching for the bill number at: https://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/