Legislature passes budget in seven-hour second special session
After much debate and a seven-hour second special session that began at midnight on April 10, the legislature has finally adjourned sine die. Here are the final details that matter most to WPEA members:
Sick-leave buyout. WPEA worked with Representative Sam Hunt (D-22), Senator Steve Conway (D-29), and the Liquor Control Board to achieve a sick-leave buyout for LCB store managers and warehouse operators. View the sick-leave buyout details in the budget.
Read more in The News Tribune
Cuts to pension benefits for future public employees. The final version of the pension “reform” that passed:
- Will only affect people hired on or after May 1st, 2013
- Replaces all previous PERS 2/3 early retirement factors (for new hires). with a 5% reduction in pension for every year before 65 that a person retires.
- Requires a study of those public jobs for which early retirement may be valuable, to be reported to the legislature in late 2012.
- Lowers the return on investment assumptions for the pension funds over several years, which should lead to higher employer contribution rates in the long-term.
Thanks to everyone who contacted their legislators on this issue. The end result was not as bad as the original, disastrous plan. However, this benefit cut for new hires does not save any money in the budget and is still just more of the same piling on already over-worked, underpaid, scapegoated public employees. How did your legislator vote on the bill? Check out the House and Senate roll-call votes.
No job losses at:
- Department of Revenue
- Department of Natural Resources
- Community and technical colleges
- The State School for the Blind
- The Center for Deafness and Hearing Loss
- Military Department
- Department of Licensing
- Department of Agriculture
- Washington State Patrol (18.5 vacant positions are eliminated)