House Budget: Local government takes $80 million hit

by Pat Thompson, Council 2 Deputy Director on February 24, 2012

The House of Representatives released their proposed budget this week and the news isn’t good.  In closing the $1.1 billion budget shortfall, the House simply delayed some of their cost while making direct cuts to the services that Cities and Counties provide.

While this measure does provide some of the items we supported (Increased Revenue Options/Flexibility) it falls far short of meeting the needs of our already strained communities.  Cities appear to be worse off than Counties as cuts to their current share of liquor revenue has been shifted to Public Health.

Please call your legislator and tell them to restore local government funding in the House Budget.

Pension Threats Waning

Although nothing’s officially dead for the session, the two major threats reported earlier (SB 6378 and SB 6543) don’t appear to have gained traction with lawmakers.  SB 6378 was the worst of the two and would force all new hires into Plan 3 and increase the penalties for retiring prior to age 65 to around 8% per year.

SB 6543 was the measure that would remove overtime from pension calculations.

The hearings on these bills went very well. The arguments against are solid and it appears the Senators were listening.

That said, we still have to watch these measures and there is a rumor that increasing the penalties portion of SB 6378 is being considered as part of the budget.

HB 2641 / SB 6372

Volunteers/Collective Bargaining

The bills remove our Union’s right to bargain over the use of volunteers looks dead for the session.  Thanks to House leadership and Senator Craig Pridemore (D), Vancouver, who listened to our concerns.

Please call your legislators on the Legislative Hotline at

1-800-562-6000 and ask them to support these measures.  To find your legislator or district, visit: