May 20th 2019

Back to Archives

Legislative Alerts


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