ALERT: Senate Republicans Pass Largest Attacks on Plan 2 Pensions Ever (SB 6378)

by Pat Thompson, Council 2 Deputy Director on March 6, 2012

In a surprise attack, Senate Republicans, with the help of three Democrats, took over the floor on Friday night and pulled four bills from committee and passed them with 25-to-24 votes. This was a backroom deal that never saw the light of day.

In a move not seen in decades, the Republican minority moved to the “9th Order of Business” which allowed them to bypass all rules and bring these bills to the floor without committee approval.  SB 6378 would do the following: 

1)   Close Plan 2 and force all new hires into Plan 3

2)   Eliminate all Early Retirement factors for new hires which would raise the current penalties to 8% per year for every year prior to age 65.

3)   Allow the Employer to skip their payments to the Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability of Plan 1, a total of $394 million in 2013.

As reported last, the hearing on this bill went well and there appeared to be no interest from the Democrats who control the committee to move the bill forward. Our arguments against it include the following: 

1)   Closing Plan 2 puts Plan 2 members at risk by creating the same underfunding that has plagued Plan 1.

2)   Forcing new hires into Plan 3 put the entire system at risk. The State Investment Board testified that due to the “liquid” nature of Plan 3, less long term, high yield investments are possible which would in turn lower everyone’s rate of return, driving up contribution rates.

Please contact the following Senators and tell them to stop the attack on your pension system – Start with your senator first  

Legislative Hotline – 1-800-562-6000 

Sen. Jim Kastama

District 25


Sen. Rodney Tom

District 35


Sen. Timothy Sheldon

District 48


Sen. Michael Baumgartner

District 6


Sen. Randi Becker

District 2


Sen. Don Benton

District 17


Sen. Mike Carrell

District 28


Sen. Jerome Delvin

District 8


Sen. Doug Ericksen

District 42


Sen. Joe Fain

District 47


Sen. Mike Hewitt

District 16


Sen. Andy Hill

District 45


Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry

District 13


Sen. Jim Honeyford

District 15


Sen. Curtis King

District 14


Sen. Steve Litzow

District 41


Sen. Bob Morton

District 7


Sen. Mike Padden

District 4


Sen. Linda Evans Parlette

District 12


Sen. Cheryl Pflug

District 5


Sen. Pam Roach

District 31


Sen. Mark Schoesler

District 9


Sen. Val Stevens

District 39


Sen. Dan Swecker

District 20


Sen. Joseph Zarelli

District 18


Other bills passed include the entire budget which slashes millions more from Local Government than the Proposal from Senate and House Democrats. 

Volunteer Threats Still Alive 

Last week also saw a resurgence in the previously dead proposal to deny our ability to bargain over the use of volunteers in our work places. After both House and Senate versions died in committee, a revenue bill (HB 2801) included the same language.  Please call and ask them to strip Section 103 from HB 2801. 

Please contact the following House Members and tell them to “Strike Section 103 of HB 2801”.