The 2019 Legislative Session is scheduled to run January 14 through April 28. A summary of each bill impacting LEOFF 2 will appear below as information becomes available. Links provide detail.

 

LEOFF 2 Board Bills

LEOFF/PERS Eligibility Gap (HB 1297 | SB 5355)

HB 1297 |  SB 5355 Recovering service credit withdrawn from the public employees’ retirement system for certain law enforcement officers and firefighters.

Both bills allow law enforcement officers and fire fighters to receive a LEOFF 2 pension if they:

  • were not eligible for LEOFF 1 due to not meeting minimum medical and health standards;
  • were enrolled into PERS after a 1994 law clarified membership eligibility, and;
  • separated from employment and withdrew from PERS membership prior to paying back their past contributions owed; and there is no record of DRS giving the member an option to receive a pension with a reduction to pay back remaining contributions owed.
  • Substitute Senate bill clarifies that the benefit under this bill is prospective from the month the application is received.

Qualifying individuals would be required to pay all member contributions owed, without interest, by taking an actuarial reduction to their ongoing benefit or by making a lump sum payment. The option to recover service credit would be available until July 1, 2020.

HB 1297 Status:

  • No action at this time.

SSB 5355 Status:

  • 2/6/19 – Substituted and passed out of Senate Ways and Means.

Spousal Consent Requirement (HB 1408)

HB 1408 | SB 5661 Clarifying the written consent requirement for survivorship benefit options.

Requires written consent from a member’s spouse where a member selects a survivor benefit of less than the 50 percent option or names someone other than their spouse as their beneficiary. Current law requires written consent for all survivor option other than the 50 percent option.

HB 1408 Status:

  • Scheduled for a public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations 2/11/19 at 3:30 PM.
  • Scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Appropriations 2/13/19 at 3:30 PM.

SB 5661 Status:

  • Scheduled for executive session in Senate Ways and Means 2/12/19 at 3:30 PM.

Month of Death Payment (HB 1414 | SB 5335)

HB 1414 | SB 5335 Paying retirement benefits until the end of the month in which the retiree or beneficiary dies.

Both bills provide a retiree’s beneficiary or estate a full month’s benefit for the month a retiree or survivor passes away. Currently, in the month a retiree passes away the last month benefit payment is prorated based on the number of days the person was alive in the month.

Status:

  • SB 5335 is scheduled for a hearing in Senate Ways and Means 1/30/19 at 3:30 PM.
  • HB 1414 is scheduled for a hearing in House Committee on Appropriations 2/7/19 at 3:30 PM.

 

Bills Impacting LEOFF 2

Confidentiality of Insurance Claim Records (HB 1909)

HB 1909 Concerning the Confidentiality of Insurance Claim Records

  • Adds “agents who have a need to know the information contained in the claim files of an injured worker” to authorized reviewers
  • Adds the requirement for employers to establish a written policy regarding the storage of any files of its own injured workers to protect the confidentiality of the information
  • Adds a $1000 penalty to employers and their agents for revealing information in a claim file to any person other than the authorized representative or a person who has a need to know

Status:

  • Scheduled for a public hearing in the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards 2/12/19 at 3:30 PM.
  • Scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards 2/14/19 at 8:00 AM.

Presumption of Occupational Disease for Purposes of Workers' Compensation (HB 1913 | SB 5849)

HB 1913 | SB 5849 Concerning the presumption of occupational disease for purposes of workers’ compensation by adding medical conditions to the presumption, extending the presumption to certain publicly employed firefighters and investigators and law enforcement, addressing the qualifying medical examination, and creating an advisory committee.

  • Expands presumptive disease coverage for fire fighters to include mesothelioma, stomach cancer, non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer in women, and cervical cancer.
  • Expands coverage to law enforcement officers for heart problems and infectious diseases.
  • Grants public employee fire investigators the same presumption disease coverage that is granted to fire fighters.
  • Instructs the director of Labor and Industries to create an advisory committee on occupational disease presumptions to review scientific evidence and to make recommendations to the legislature on additional diseases or disorders for inclusion.

HB 1913 Status:

  • Scheduled for a public hearing in the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards 2/12/19 at 3:30 PM.
  • Scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards 2/14/19 at 8:00 AM.

SB 5849 Status:

  • Scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Labor & Commerce 2/14/19 at 8:00 AM.

2017-19 Supplemental Appropriations Budget (HB 1108 | SB 5154)

HB 1108SB 5154

At this time both bills are identical. No notable information for LEOFF 2 in the supplemental.

2019-21 Operating Appropriations Budget (HB 1109 | SB 5153)

HB 1109 | SB 5153

At this time both bills are identical.

  • No change to proposed LEOFF 2 contribution rate.
  • $25 million is appropriated for the Benefit Improvement Account.