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September 21, 2023
WA State 8th Legislative District
WA State 47th Legislative District
Benton County Commissioner
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Firefighter Issues in Olympia
Updated On: Sep 05, 2011


2011 WSCFF Legislative Conference
Washington state is having to address an unprecedented 5 Billion dollar shortfall.   All bills with a price tag have little likelihood of passing.
Our Top Three Issues (bills originated by legislators):
1.      Pension Contribution Rate Stability
a.       Not currently threatened with any active bills
b.      Our pension system is fully funded, unlike many around the county
c.       We emphasized keeping employee, city and state contribution rates stable – that’s what we want and that’s what cities and our state wants
2.      Simple Majorities for EMS Levies
a.       Currently requires 60% of the vote to pass and 40% of last election has to vote
b.      We’re asking for a simple majority – anything over 50% to pass
c.       Elections are expensive, and elections requiring a super majority vote (60%), when run several times in an attempt to pass, cost a significant amount of taxpayers’ money
d.      Originally we were after all levies related to fire service but elected to only push the EMS levy based on the belief that we could not get them all to pass this session
3.      RFA Clean Up Language
a.       3 bills to address
                                                               i.      annexation process
                                                             ii.      authorize municipalities in an RFA to continue to receive their portion of fire insurance premiums, used to fund the fireman pension fund
                                                           iii.      allow for the creation of commissioner districts
Two “agency bills” (originating from LEOFF II board):
1.      Removal of remarriage penalty for survivors of line of duty death
a.       Continued from last year
b.      Cost - $900,000 over biennium
2.      Presumptive Occupational Disease for Cops and FF
a.       “Brian Walsh Act” for PD officer who had MI on the job after high speed chase and ruled nonoccupational.
b.      Would provide L&I benefit for death resulting from heart attack or stroke (within 24 hours of unusually stressful or strenuous work) for Cops
c.       Would add stroke to presumptive list for FF
d.      Cost - $380,000 over biennium

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