Despo Varkados called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM, followed by the flag salute.
Attending: Despo Varkados, Fran Person, Mina Milligan, Linda Bannon, Marty Erickson
Treasurer’s Report: (Marty Erickson)
|Savings Account Revenue
|12 Month Certificate
|Net Worth to Date
Marty Erickson talked about the budget for next year. He changed the Mini-Grant entry to $7,000. Mina Milligan will send the budget out when she e-mails the minutes. It was discussed that WWSRA should pay for a luncheon guest. Marty Erickson will add a section in the budget to cover this.
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: May 20, 2021 Minutes, and the current Treasurer’s Report were approved as written.
Membership: (Margaret Snitzler) Currently, SWWSRA has 504 members. Last month we had 499 members.
Health: (Fran Person) In October, Fran Person will receive information from the Health Authority. She will relay this material at our next meeting.
Friendship: (Jane Madden read by Despo Varkados)
- June – family of Alvin Pietz
- July – Colleen Baron and family on death of her husband
- August – Families of Barbara Altig (card returned. No forwarding address), Robert MacArthur, Bernice Plucos, Jan Weston
- Despo Varkados, Donna Quesnell, Fran Person, Amy Frusciante
- Cards will be sent to Annette Erickson and Colleen Baron
Jane Madden reported that last month’s death notices from the state will be coming soon.
The Columbian: Despo Varkados reminded us that we need to make our name more visible in order to build up our membership. Marty Erickson reminded us that he sent a letter into the Columbian. The letter is available to read in the May minutes. Linda Bannon submitted our group for The Columbian Resource Guide, which should be coming out soon.
October Meeting: It was decided that our general luncheon meeting in October will be changed to a zoom meeting. Mina Milligan will call Cascadia Tech to cancel.
Register: Marty Erickson needs to register with the state and will use Linda Bannon as President and Wanita Filbin as Vice-President.
Call Members: It was decided that members need to be called about Zoom meetings and in person meetings. Our call people are Mina Milligan (list one), Donna Quesnell (list two), and Loretta Babbitt (list three).
Legislative Message: (Peter Diedrick)
Bits & Pieces, August 11, 2021 Like the students you had in class, the legislature gets back to work the autumn. Policymakers and advocacy groups are now busy preparing for the 2022 Legislative Session starting January 10. Legislators can pre-file bills as early as December 13, so bill action will be starting roughly 70 days.
WSSRA’s Plan 1 COLA work continues. The legislative Select Committee on Pension Policy is running cost estimates on Plan 1 COLA proposals for the next legislative session. WSSRA is asking the Committee to have a public hearing on a proposal at the October 19 SCPP meeting. The Washington Education Association – Retired and the Retired Public Employees Council of Washington are in lockstep with this request. At the executive branch, WSSRA’s political team is setting up meetings with the Governor’s budget director and Women’s Commission to have a COLA included in the Governor’s 2022-2023 budget proposal. That proposal will be sent to legislators in December and will be the blueprint legislators use to craft their final budget for 2022-2023.
WSSRA is purchasing new legislative software – Voter Voice. It will automatically identify the legislative districts of our members. In the next legislative session have a special page on our website where WSSRA members can compose a legislative message and the computer program will send it to the appropriate legislators. Training and demonstrations will be available closer to the legislative session.
The WSSRA State Legislative Committee will be hosting four legislative training sessions. The sessions are in-lieu of the convention legislative committee breakout session and all WSSRA members are invited. If you would like to join any of the sessions, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The four sessions are:
- Legislative Committee & unit legislative chair training. Legislative, political, and state budget update. Lobbying tips. Friday, October 1 at 10:00 am.
- WSSRA Voter Voice software preview. Briefing on the state’s pension plans and public policy issues facing the state’s pension plans. Friday, October 8 at 10:00 am.
- Legislative process and the state budget process. How does a bill become a law at the legislature? How is it funded in appropriations? The how-to guide that was skipped in your civics class. Friday, October 15 at 10:00 am.
- Congressional process and the federal budget process. What is budget reconciliation? How is the federal process different from the state legislature? What is wrong with those people? Friday, October 22 at 10:00 am.
Summer Legislative Update Welcome back! We at WSSRA – Alan, Peter, Debbie, Tara, and Michele – hope you had a happy and covid-free summer. There are three items of legislative business to bring to your attention, the 2022 WSSRA legislative agenda, Plan 1 COLA developments, and the development of next year’s PEBB plans.
WSSRA’s legislative agenda will be finalized at the November ’21 Executive Board meeting. That said, our legislative team has standing instructions to pursue policies to enhance the lives of retirees and all seniors. We know our lobbying team will be working on a Plan 1 COLA, protecting or improving medical benefits, and enhancing retirement opportunities for our Plan 2/3 members. Our political staff is also drafting legislation to allow school retirees that retire in August, to receive COLAs the following July.
WEA-Retired, Retired Public Employees Council of Washington, WSSRA, and the University of Washington Retirees Association are closely working together on Plan 1 COLA legislation for 2022. The current task is getting the Select Committee on Pension Policy to produce cost estimates for various COLA proposals – including a full Plan 1 COLA restoration. Next we will be working with the Governor’s Office, so a Plan 1 COLA can be included in the Governor’s 2022 supplemental budget proposal.
The Public Employees Benefits Board is completing its work on the 2022 retiree health premium rates. WSSRA will be hosting a seminar with HCA in October to discuss any rate and plan changes – the meeting date will be published as soon as it is finalized.
Our hunch is that the autumn will be a busy political season. Work on the Plan 1 COLA will continue, and the flood of money pouring into the state from the federal government will require attention from legislators. As always, WSSRA will keep you up to speed on what’s happening at the capitol.
Meeting adjourned at 9:39 AM
Mina Milligan, SWWSRA Secretary
Dates to Remember:
9-27 Coordinating Council Zoom 9:00AM
Sept 16, 2021 Board meeting third Thursday in September & October 28, 2021 general meeting fourth Thursday in October
- Despo Varkados
November 18, 2021 board 3Rd Thurs of November & December 9, 2021 General meeting 2Nd Thursday in December
- Linda Bannon
February 17,2022 Board third Thursday in Feb. & March 24, 2022 General meeting fourth Thursday in March
- Donna Quesnell
April 21,2022 board meeting Third Thursday in April & May 26, 2022 general meeting fourth Thursday in May
- Loretta Babbitt