June 26th 2019

Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting, December 11 - 10:00am

LEOFF I and Prior Act Disability Board -
Click here to watch the meeting on TVW.org.

bill-dickinson-at-meetingjoyce-willms-at-meeting

The Committee on Pension Policy has before it two proposals. One seeks to solve a reported concern that there are not adequate active or retired law enforcement officers and firefighters to staff local pension and disability boards. The one example cites the City of Edmonds. The do have a LEOFF I Disability Board, but the City simply chooses not to institute a legacy pension board under RCW 41.16. That situation does not appear to support the notion that there is a shortage of qualified active or retired firefighters, but I can certainly see the potential that over time, there could be a lack of active or retired law enforcement officers and/or firefighters to staff said boards. In cities such as Edmonds, another solution is to allow the contracted firefighters to sit on the board since they are in fact still providing the same fire service to the city except it is by contract. This would be an easy legislative fix as well. I would point out though, as time passes there will shortly be no legacy retirees left to be served by legacy boards so draft bill ”A” would solve the needs of providing adequate back-up while addressing the need and desire for local control I mentioned a moment ago. It makes sense to keep local agency staff and retirees involved in the jurisdictional decisions which affect them. In the complete absence of active or retired personnel for a jurisdiction, allowing other law enforcement officers and/or firefighters, active or retired personnel to serve as a back-up resource makes common sense with a logical progression of prioritization. (and you KNOW that law enforcement officers and firefighters love a back-up plan……). My only concern with draft “A” is the use of the term “This includes active and retired firefighters…. law enforcement officers” which seems to suggest that non-Washington are not excluded. It is okay to expand the allowance of retirees from some other Washington municipality, but it would not be acceptable to allow board candidates coming from all-together outside of our retirement system.

The second proposed piece of legislation completely fails to give priority to the local jurisdictions and their employees, be they active or retired, and simply allows any ex-law enforcement officer or firefighter to run for the local board regardless of where they come from. I submit that new persons in the community are likely not to be familiar with the history, community values, or public sentiment of the new community into which they have moved. In fact, the legislation as written would allow any retired law enforcement officer and/or firefighter to serve even if they came from California or New York. Clearly, out of state retirees have no history or understanding of Washington State law much less, the LEOFF retirement system. This would allow people to run for the board who bring an incomplete and perhaps even biased background based on their training and experience in other states which are not comparable to the State of Washington. In sum, this would clearly NOT serve the interests of the retirees much less the local communities served by those retirees. Legislative option “B” does NOT have our support.

On behalf of the LEOFF 1 coalition, I ask that the Committee consider rejecting legislative option “B”. We do, however, offer the Coalition’s support of Legislative Option “A” amended as I have suggested. This gives priority to maintaining the system that has been in place and served well throughout the State for decades, while providing a back-up measure that would assure the continuation of these public service pension and disability boards until such time as there are no Prior Act retirees left to serve.

I thank you for the opportunity to provide our input on this matter for your consideration.


Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Select Committee on Pension Policy is holding a committee meeting on December 12th. The meeting starts at 10:00 a.m. in House Hearing Room B.
Click here to go to TVW to watch the meeting. Click here to read the meeting agenda.
Click here for the map!

Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Select Committee on Pension Policy is holding a committee meeting on November 14th. The Full Committee meeting starts at 10:00 a.m. in House Hearing Room B. The Executive Committee will meet at 12:20 p.m. in House Conference Rooms B15/18.
Click here to read the meeting agenda.
Click here for the map!

Select Committee on Pension Policy

Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting - 10/17/17


On Tuesday, October 17, LEOFF 1 Coalition President Andy Wilson, Board Member Bill Dickinson, and Lobbyist Joyce Willms were present at the Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting.
The agenda included Recommendation to PFC on Long-Term Economic Assumptions, Preliminary 2018 Meeting Dates, OSA Update, Public Hearing with Possible Executive Session, Update: Subgroup on Tribal Schools, Plans 1 COLA Proposal Pricing Results, Media Alert: Seattle Police Off-Duty Employment.

Click here to watch the video.

For more information, please call us at (360)-570-1035, (877) 553-6631 or email Joyce at joyce@leoff1coalition.org