June 6th 2020

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Legislative Alerts


URGENT: ACT TODAY!

HB 1888 – An act relating to protecting employee information from public disclosure

  • Retired law enforcement officers and firefighters are not Government employees anymore.
  • The State of Washington cannot fire them.
  • The State of Washington cannot assign work to them.
  • HB 1888 does not protect retired law enforcement officers’ and firefighters’ personal information.

Please amend HB 1888 to add retired law enforcement officers and firefighters to the public disclosure exemption list.

Click here for all the details.

Senate Ways & Means Committee Members:

URGENT!
Let Your Voice Be Heard

Help stop HB 2051 on Friday, February 28, 2020.

No retired out of state firefighter should be eligible to sit on local disability boards.
No retired out of state law enforcement officer should be eligible to sit on local disability boards.

LEOFF 1 Coalition President Bill Dickinson echoed loud and clear to the Senate Ways & Means Committee that no out of state firefighters or law enforcement officers should serve on local disability boards.

The following organizations support out of state law enforcement officers and firefighters serving on your local disability boards: Richard Warbrouck (Retired Fire Fighters of Washington), Ken Crowder (Washington State Retired Police Officers Association), and Curtis Vandver (Washington LEOFF Education Association).

The Coalition supports Senator Schoesler’s amendment on SB 5920 Number 916 Floor Page 3 Line 28 clarified that no out of state firefighter or law enforcement officer can serve on local LEOFF 1 disability boards.

Please request that Legislators amend HB 2051 to expand eligibility to a retired or active LEOFF 1 member’s spouse or beneficiary residing in the district, yet not subject to the jurisdiction of the board, to serve on pension and disability boards when no eligible LEOFF 1 firefighter or law enforcement officer is willing or able to be elected.

Call or email your Legislators to tell them that NO out of state law enforcement officers and firefighters should not be eligible to serve on local LEOFF 1 disability boards.

Come to Olympia and testify during the Senate Ways & Means meeting on Friday, February 28, 2020, at 3:30pm. Tell them not to pass HB 2051 without Senator Schoesler’s amendment from SB 5920 to clarify that only Washington State LEOFF 1 members can sit on local disability boards.

For more information or if you plan to come testify, call the LEOFF 1 Coalition Office at 360-570-1035 and talk to Executive Director Joyce Willms. You can also send an email to joyce@leoff1coalition.org.

Senate Ways & Means Committee Members:

Senate Bill Report
HB 2051

As of February 3, 2020

Brief Description: Concerning firefighters and law enforcement officers pension and disability boards.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON WAYS & MEANS
This amendment would allow residents that retired from a firefighter or law enforcement position in another state should be able to represent retirees on the board.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Ken Crowder, Washington State Retired Police Officers Association; Curtis Vandver, Washington LEOFF Education Association; Dick Warbrouck, citizen; Dan Bronoske, Washington State Council of Fire Fighters.

OTHER: William Dickinson, LEOFF 1 Coalition

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.


Click here to read the entire Senate Bill Report for HB 2051.


LEGISLATIVE ALERT

Help protect your personal information!

HB 1888: Protecting employee information from public disclosure.
The Senate Committee on State Government, Tribal Relations, and Elections is holding a public hearing in Senate Hearing Room 2
Date: Friday, February 21, 2020; Time: 1:30pm

The LEOFF 1 Coalition and the Washington State Retired Deputy Sheriffs and Police Officers Association (WSRDSPOA) support HB 1888.

Click here to read the full Leg alert about HB 1888.

We are asking LEOFF 1 members, spouses, and beneficiaries to make your voice heard! Email your Legislators before Friday, February 21 at 1:30pm.
Request an amendment to HB 1888 to add LEOFF Plan 1 members to the exemption list for public disclosures. In your emails, please explain how dangerous your job was and that you want your personal information protected.

Sam Hunt, Chair - sam.hunt@leg.wa.gov

Patty Kuderer, Vice Chair - patty.kurderer@leg.wa.gov

Hans Zeiger, Ranking Member - hans.zeiger@leg.wa.gov

Ron Muzzall, Asst. Ranking Member - ron.muzzall@leg.wa.gov

Bob Hasegawa - bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov

Brad Hawkins - brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov

Dean Takko - dean.takko@leg.wa.gov


2001 Merger of LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2

2001 - the LEOFF 1 groups worked together to stop the LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 merger.

"This legislative action is simply against the law," said Steve Berman, attorney for the plaintiffs. "Washington state law states very clearly that all monies contained in the LEOFF 1 plan - including the surplus - are held in trust for the benefit of the plan participants, and the participants alone."

Click here to read what happened.


The LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 Merger Will NOT Move Forward

Thank you LEOFF 1 Coalition members! We were able to stop the proposed LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 merger because of all your emails and phone calls to Senator Van De Wege (District 24), an active firefighter and LEOFF 2 member.

A special thanks to the LEOFF 1 Coalition members from Senator Van De Wege's Legislative District - Clallam, Gray's Harbor, and Jefferson Counties.


Merger LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2
Stakeholders Meeting - 3/22/19

Senator Van De Wege says he only wants the LEOFF 1 funds.

The next Stakeholders' Meeting will be Friday, March 29th, at 2:00pm.


You can also copy and paste this link (https://youtu.be/yQfgN_Ea8Eo) into an email to share with others.

Please call or email Senator Senator Van De Wege regarding this merger!
Phone: 360-786-7646
Email: kevin.vandewege@leg.wa.gov

Please CC Joyce (joyce@leoff1coalition.org), LEOFF 1 Coalition Lobbyist, on all emails sent to Senator Van De Wege.

Letters regarding this merger should be addressed to:
PMB 127 STE 108
855 Trosper Rd SW
Tumwater, WA 98512

If you have any questions, feel free to call the LEOFF 1 Coalition office at 360-570-1035 or email Joyce at joyce@leoff1coalition.org


LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 Merger Stakeholder Meeting

The second stakeholder meeting on the merger of LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 will be Friday, March 22, 2019.

Click here to read more.

Raid in LEOFF 1 Pension AGAIN
LEOFF Merger Meeting

The LEOFF 1 Coalition President, Bill Dickinson, Lobbyist, Joyce Willms, and the Washington State Retired Deputy Sheriffs and Police Officers Association, represented by Past President Andy Wilson, attended the LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 merger meeting at the Capitol on Thursday, March 14, along with other LEOFF 1 groups.

The question you’re probably asking yourself is, “Why does the state want to merge LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2?” The answer is simple: They want our money so that the state will no longer have to pay into LEOFF 2 until 2021 and can use the remaining money to balance the state budget. It is urgent that we protect the LEOFF Plan 1 name. Without the LEOFF Plan 1 name, your medical benefits will be in jeopardy.

The bill to merge LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 is sponsored by Senator Kevin Van De Wege, Democrat from Legislative District 24 (including Clallam, Grays Harbor, and Jefferson counties) and an active LEOFF 2 Firefighter.

The plan for 2019-2021 and 2021-2023 means that the local employer pays a 30% contribution rate and the employee pays a 50% rate during these years. Then, beginning in 2023-2025, state contributions would restart, but phase out by 2030, shifting to a 55% rate for employees and a 45% rate for employers. The first incentive offer was to give every LEOFF 1 member and beneficiary $15,000 when merging LEOFF 1 to LEOFF 2. At his meeting on March 14th, that number had changed to $20,000 for every LEOFF 1 member and benficiary.

In our opinion, part of this $20,000 payment offer is, basically, a bribe so the Legislators can take your Retirement Trust Fund. The next big question is, if there is no LEOFF Plan 1 name, then your medical benefits may be gone.

As you can see in the LEOFF Merger Draft (linked below), the concern over LEOFF 1 Medical Benefits is not clearly answered. Another point in the draft is the transfer of $300 million from LEOFF 2 into a Benefit Improvement Account, making LEOFF 2 about 106% funded after the transfer. The Legislature would then use LEOFF 1 money to replace the $300 million taken from LEOFF 2. During the meeting, Joyce asked for clarification on what the Benefit Improvement Account would do, but no clear answer was ever given.

The impression we received from the meeting today was that, despite any argument we put forward, Senator Van De Wege plans to move forward with his merger plan. As soon as Van De Wege introduces a bill merging LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2, the LEOFF 1 Coalition will be fund raising to pay for attorney fees and lawsuit. In a lawsuit in 2001, Steve Berman, representing LEOFF 1 interests, stated, “This legislative action is simply against the law. Washington State law states very clearly that all monies contained in the LEOFF 1 plan – including the surplus – are held in trust for the benefit of the plan participants, and the participants alone.”

Van De Wege has already set up the next merger meeting. It will be held on March 22, but with no stated agenda at this time.

Click here to read the merger draft from Van De Wege's meeting on March 14th.

Click here to read the news release on the 2001 LEOFF 1/LEOFF 2 merger lawsuit.

Click here to read the Seattle Times article on the 2001 lawsuit.

LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 Merger

2051 testimony

Senator Kevin Van De Wege is having a stakeholders meeting regarding a merger of LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 on March 14. The LEOFF 1 Coalition President, Bill Dickinson, will be at that meeting.

As we all know, the top priority of the LEOFF 1 Coalition is to protect the “LEOFF Plan 1 Retirement System” name. As long as there is no change in the name, our LEOFF 1 Medical Benefits and Trust Fund should be protected. If there is a merger, it could pose a serious threat to your LEOFF 1 Medical Benefits and Trust Fund.

With the LEOFF 1 Trust Fund funded at 131%, the Legislature will take the money and I don’t see a way to stop it, except to sue them.

Click here to read SB 5983.

Click here to read about a LEOFF 1 and LEOFF 2 Merger.


Legislators Return to Olympia

For a 4th Special Session


Lawmakers might return to Olympia in November to fix the Hirst Decision and to pass the Capital Budget.

Washington State Legislative Session:

2018 Regular 60 day session starts Monday, January 8 to Thursday, March 8, 2018


Time is running out

The clock is ticking!

We're running out of time! Government faces partial shutdown! Legislators started a 3rd special session Wednesday. There is no agreement on a 2017-2019 operating budget. The 3rd special session started Wednesday, June 21, with 9 days left in the current fiscal year to reach a budget deal and have Governor Inslee sign the bill into law by midnight, June 30. If the budget isn't signed by July 1, the government faces a partial shutdown.
Seattle Times
The Olympian

Olympia capitol building

Leg Alert 4/21/11

Capitol BuildingJoin Us on
Legislative Day!

January 19, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.

Meet inside the main entrance of the O'Brien Building

at the Capitol in Olympia


RSVP to LEOFF I Coalition office at (877) 553-6631 or mwcurtiscraft@comcast.net

 

LEOFF I Coalition 2006 General Election endorsements

March 2006 Legislative Alert

January 2006 Legislative Alert