RPEC Weekly NewsFlash, December 8, 2023
Register for 2024 Legislative Day
The new year is right around the corner, and with it, legislative session beginning on January 8. The annual RPEC/WEA-R Joint Legislative Day is set for January 22, 2024, and the registration deadline is less than a month away!
The day-long event begins at the Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake where the Legislative Committee chairs from RPEC and the Washington Education Association – Retired (WEA-R) will lead a training session on how to speak with your legislators about issues that are important to retirees. You and other constituents from your legislative district will review your meeting schedule and materials to devise a game plan over a working lunch. From there, you will bus to the Capitol to meet with your legislators and urge them to support our shared legislative priorities. Please note that there is no reception this year.
The last day to register is January 3, 2024. For more information, visit https://rpecwa.org/2024-rpec-wea-retired-legislative-day/. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet face-to-face with your legislators and advocate with other public sector retirees to accomplish our goals.
Fiscal Stability Act Poses Threat to Social Security and Medicare Funding
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Retirees and the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) have concern about a new piece of bi-partisan legislation introduced in the Senate in November. The Fiscal Stability Act (S. 3262) would purportedly create a fiscal commission that will produce a plan to improve the nation’s fiscal trajectory and decrease the national debt. Retiree organizations fear the real agenda is to slash funding for Social Security and Medicare for seniors. RPEC will work, in concert with other AFSCME Retiree chapters nationwide, to oppose the bill and the companion legislation (H.R. 5779) introduced in the House. A detailed position paper about the proposed debt commission is available at https://retiredamericans.org.
Keep apprised of RPEC’s work at a federal level by reading the weekly NewsFlash and visiting www.rpecwa.org.
Legislative Committees Assemble
The Washington State Legislature recently gathered in Olympia for Committee Assembly days. In preparation for the 2024 Legislative Session, Senate committees met on November 30 and December 1 and House committees met on December 4 and 5 to receive informational briefings. While the composition of many committees remains the same as last year, the Legislature has two new committee chairs due to the resignation of a Senator Christine Rolfes (D, Bainbridge Island) earlier this year.
Rolfes’ powerful position as Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee was filled by Senator June Robinson (D, Everett). Rolfes’ Senate seat was filled by Representative Drew Hansen (D, Bainbridge Island), who gave up chairing the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee to move to the Senate. Representative Jamila Taylor (D, Federal Way) replaced Hansen as Chair of the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. Hansen’s House seat was filled by Greg Nance (D, Bainbridge Island), who now serves on the Education Committee, the Postsecondary Education & Workforce Committee, and the Transportation Committee.
RPEC Members – Seattle
Editor’s Note: The following is a correction to the PSLA Food Bank – Seattle article we ran in the December 1 NewsFlash.
There are many ways to celebrate the season of giving as an individual and as an RPEC member. RPEC Chapter 3 members practice the act of giving on a continuous basis and give extra for the holiday season. Every month, members of Chapter 3 bring food donations to their chapter meeting to be given to the Puget Sound Labor Agency (PSLA) Food Bank, and then a member volunteers to deliver them. In November, the members opt to do their usual food drive, and in addition, they also do a toy drive to ensure the toys make it into the hands of children that need them in time for the holidays. The members also donated $100 from the chapter as an extra act of giving.
Retirees or active employees, we are all part of the same family. Giving to your community knows no bounds and it is an essential aspect of enriching the relationships people have with their community.
Do you want to get involved with giving during this holiday season? Check with your local food bank to see what assistance and consumables they need. Talk with other members of your chapter about partnering up with you to help your local food bank or other social program.
Please refer to our calendar page for more information about each event, including links to Zoom meetings, if available.
- Dec. 11 – Executive Board Meeting (10:00 am)
- Dec. 12 – Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting (10:00 am)
- Dec. 13 – Health Care is a Human Right Meeting (5:00 pm)
- Dec. 14 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
- Dec. 18 – Senior Lobby (10:00 am)
- Dec. 25 – Jan. 1 – Council Office Closed, Winter Holidays
- Jan. 3 – Legislative Day Registration Deadline
- Jan. 8 – Start of Legislative Session