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2020 Washington State Regular Legislative Session Washington State Firefighters’ Association February 2, 2020
This Week's Happenings...Week #3 - Policy Cutoff Week

The Legislature just concluded the third week of session, with policy committees' gearing up for the first, of many deadlines that occur throughout the legislative process.  Policy cutoff is this Friday, February 7th when all bills must advance from their committee of origin in order to remain "alive" and continue along in the process.  That means that this week, policy committees' will be busy... jammed & slammed moving bills; bills will be either flying or dying!  This will put the WSFFA legislative team on a high alert and activity level.   Numerous bills will not advance from committee, therefore they're dead for the remainder of session, and will need to be reintroduced in 2021.

As noted in an earlier email on our Leg. Workshop Summary, we had some successes.  In one instance, Tammie strategically capitalized on the visit to Rep. Schmick’s office which is further noted herein.  It is these opportunities that create wins and offer greater educated involvement of legislators.  The results are not by happenstance, rather logical planning by Tammie, I and others.

The following week Monday, (2/10) is fiscal cutoff; the fiscal committees' will hear bills and vote them out (or not) by the end of the day.  When the fiscal committees' are not meeting, the House and Senate will be voting on bills on the floor in their respective chamber of origin.  The chamber of origin deadline is February 19th, when all bills must pass out of their chamber of origin and cross over to the opposite chamber in order to continue in the process.  Then, the process repeats itself in the opposite chamber, except the deadlines are much closer together, & the window of opportunity to receive a hearing is limited.

WSFFA Priority Legislation Update-ESB 5829/SHB 1912 Volunteer FF Pension Contributions

ESB 5829 is in queue for floor action; the floor striker is has been prepared by the Code Reviser & is ready for the Senator’s offering on the floor.  The House bill is currently in Approps awaiting a public hearing on/or before the fiscal deadline of February 10.  Representative Joe Schmick (R-9) has graciously agreed to offer the required committee amendment which updates the effective dates & will mirror the Senate bill.  The updated effective dates originated with the BVFF and Leg staff.

Our FB post, and Leg Page Update will include folks to contact the Legislative Hotline 1-800 562-6000 asking their legislators to advance

ESB 5829/SHB 1912 Volunteer FF Pension Contributions.
Vol. firefighter pensions
·         Concerning pension benefits and contributions in the volunteer firefighters' and reserve officers' relief and pension system.

Summary: HB 1912 - DIGEST Modifies fees payable to the volunteer firefighters' and reserve officers' relief and pension principal fund. Provides payment of a monthly pension to certain members of any regularly organized volunteer fire department or law enforcement agency.

Comments: Increases the base pension by $50, from $300 a month to $350 which will affect current and future retirees.  The increase will appear on the pension payment following the July 1, 2020 effective date;

·         Increases the annual pension contribution rate from $60 to $90 and increases the annual disability rate from $30 to $50 with an effective date of January 1, 2021;

·         The added $10 per year for each additional year of service benefit goes into effect July 1, 2022 or whenever the IRS approves it; members will not be able to purchase buybacks for years prior to the effective date.

 

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