Please note that only a summary of each bill is provided.
 

Board Endorsed Bills

SHB 1679

SB 5541

Catastrophic Disability Medical Insurance – PASSED

LEOFF Plan 2 and Washington State Patrol Members who suffer catastrophic duty-related disabilities may not be able to afford the cost of continuing their health care insurance.

This bill would reimburse members who are catastrophically disabled in the line of duty for the premiums they pay for employer provided health insurance for themselves and their spouses and dependent children.

Members eligible for Medicare coverage would be required to enroll in Medicare in order to be eligible for reimbursement.

STATUS:

SHB 1679 was signed by the Governor on March 31, 2010. Chapter 259, 2010 Laws. Effective date 6/10/2010

SB 5541 did not pass out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee prior to the Feb 9 Fiscal Policy committee cutoff.

EHB 2519

SB 6407

Duty-Related Death Benefits – PASSED

Members need a comprehensive and complete package of duty-related death benefits to fill gaps in the current benefit structure. This bill provides a comprehensive package of benefits to augment the existing duty-related death benefits.

This legislation does six things:

1.      Provides survivors of duty-related deaths in LEOFF 2 and WSPRS 2 with the same choice currently provided to survivors of members with 10 or more years of service (ongoing pension or 150% withdrawal).

2.      Eliminates the actuarial reduction for the joint and 100% survivor benefit for duty-related deaths in LEOFF 2 and WSPRS 2.

3.      Provides a 10% minimum pension benefit for duty-related deaths.

4.      Increases the $150,000 lump-sum duty-related death benefit to reflect inflation since 1996 and adds an inflationary adjustment for the future.

5.      Eliminates the remarriage prohibition for workers’ compensation benefits on surviving spouses of public safety employees killed in the course of employment. Surviving spouses who have already had their benefits suspended due to remarriage will have their benefits resume.

The Senate amendment removed this provision of the bill and retains the remarriage prohibition on surviving spouses for workers’ compensation benefits of public safety employees killed in the course of employment.

HB 2492

SB 6453

Service Credit For Shared Leave – PASSED

Many employers have shared leave programs which allow members to donate and receive sick leave or annual leave under certain conditions. Shared leave received from another employee is not considered compensation earnable for local government employees; therefore, the leave cannot be used for service credit or for computing final average salary (FAS) in LEOFF Plan 2. Shared leave for state employees is included in pension calculations. This creates a disparity between state-employed LEOFF Plan 2 members and most LEOFF Plan 2 members who work for local governments, fire districts or port districts.

This legislation allows shared leave as it is defined at the employer level within the bargaining agreement to be treated the same as it is in the state program. Shared leave would be reported to DRS as salary with contributions withheld. This change would be prospective but any shared leave previously reported to DRS would remain creditable.

Members who previously did not have their shared leave reported to DRS would only be able to receive credit for that service if they are eligible to purchase it under the authorized leave of absence statutes.

STATUS:

HB 2492 passed by the House of Representatives (2/13/10), but did not pass the Senate before the March 5, 2010 floor action cutoff.

SB 6453 was signed by the Governor on March 12, 2010. Chapter 50, Laws of 2010. Effective date 6/10/2010

Other Bills of Interest:

HB 2479 Survivor Education Tuition Exemption

An act relating to exempting payment of fees at institutions of higher learning for children of certain law enforcement officers or firefighters.

STATUS:

HB 2479 did not pass out of the House Committee on Higher Education prior to the Feb 2 House policy committee cutoff.

HB 3190 DOC/McNeil Island SCC Membership in LEOFF

Authorizes membership in the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System Plan 2 for firefighters employed by the department of corrections at the McNeil Island special commitment center.

STATUS:

HB 3190 did not pass out of the House Ways & Means before committee cutoff.