Message Line Update

WSSRA LEGISLATIVE MESSAGE LINE

The WSSRA Legislative Message Line is designed to relay the most current and critical political information to WSSRA members who are not yet on-line. The recording can be reached at (800) 221-1269. It is updated as soon as conditions warrant.

The current Message Line Update is listed below:

March 28, 2017

Dear Peter,

The Washington State Senate and the Washington State House of Representatives have released their budget proposals for the 2017-2019 biennium. Both budgets offer school retiree benefit enhancements.

The House Budget (House Bill 1067), restores the Retiree Medicare Eligible Healthcare Benefit to the full $183 per month. It increases the benefit to $166 in July of 2017, and again to the full $183 in July of 2018. The House budget makes no other changes or reductions to retiree benefits.

The Senate Budget (Senate Bill 5048), provides a 1.5% enhancement to the TRS 1 Alternative Minimum Benefit. Retirees are eligible for the Alternative Minimum if they have 25 years of service and have been retired for 20 years or vice-versa. Minimum benefits are scheduled for an automatic increase this summer, and this change provides an additional $27 per month to TRS 1 retirees who qualify. Our legislative team is working to make this increase more comprehensive. We would like the increase to be larger and to include classified employees. The Senate budget proposal holds the Medicare Eligible Healthcare Benefit at $150, and makes no reductions to school retiree benefits.

Please contact your legislators at this time. Thank your Senators for increasing TRS 1 minimum benefits. Thank your Representatives for restoring the Medicare Eligible Healthcare Benefit. Please feel encouraged to send a thank you to legislative leadership as well. Contact information is available here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/.

Negotiators from the House and Senate will now start crafting a final budget proposal. Our goal is to see both benefit enhancements included in the final draft.

If you have any questions, please call the WSSRA Office. Staff can be reached at (800) 544-5219. Again, if you have any questions, or would like to leave a message for any of the WSSRA staff, please call the main number at (800) 544-5219.