WACOPS Legislative Update – Final Week

WACOPS Legislative Update – Final Week


WACOPS Legislative Update

Final Week  – 4/17/15 

Final Week
The legislature adjourned yesterday. The adjournment marks the end of the 2015 regular session. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, neither the House nor Senate came to an agreement on a budget. The Governor has called for a special session to start on Wednesday, the 29th. Legislators will reconvene in Olympia to continue working toward a budget deal. It is important to know that while the Governor has the power to call a special session, he does not have the power to set the legislature’s agenda.
There is no way to tell how long the legislature will haggle over the budget. The beginning of the new fiscal year is July 1st and state operations can’t occur without legally appropriated funds. Having no budget agreement means that there are no legally appropriated funds which means the state government shuts down. The political fallout from a government shutdown is normally sufficient to produce a budget compromise. That said, this year is not a normal year. It’s been a complex and difficult session and chances are good that it’s only going to get wilder in Olympia!
This will be the last regular session legislative update but we at WACOPS intend to keep you informed when important legislative action occurs. Keep your eyes peeled for new updates.

Bear Attack

Our very own board member, Sgt. Ted Jackson, was in the news this week.

A male jogger was attacked by a black bear on Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week. The victim escaped the attack alive but with injuries. Fish and Wildlife officers commenced a six-day search, eventually dispatching the aggressive animal.

Remarkably, this was the second time that the jogger has been attacked by a bear. “The odds of being attacked once are very slim,” said Sgt. Ted Jackson of WDFW. “The odds of being attacked twice, I would say it’s impossible, last week. But it happened. I just can’t even calculate the odds of being attacked once, let alone twice.”
Congrats to Sgt. Jackson and WDFW crew on a successful bear hunt. And we respectfully recommend that the jogger tuck a .357 into his waistband in the future.

LEOFF 2 Vacancy

There is will be an opening on the LEOFF 2 Plan Board this summer. State law reads that that the law enforcement officer board members are appointed by the Governor from a list provided by a recognized statewide council whose membership consists exclusively of guilds, associations, and unions representing state and local government police officers, deputies, and sheriffs and excludes federal law enforcement officers.

The LEOFF 2 Board is responsible for the following:
  • the adoption of actuarial standards to be applied to the plan;
  • providing for additional benefits for firefighters and law enforcement officers subject to the cost limitations provided for in chapter 2, Laws of 2003;
  • exercising fiduciary responsibility in the oversight of those pension management functions assigned to the board;
  • providing effective monitoring of the plan by providing an annual report to the legislature, to the members and beneficiaries of the plan, and to the public;
  • establishing contribution rates for employees, employers, and the state of Washington that will guaranty viability of the plan, subject to the limitations provided for in chapter 2, Laws of 2003;
  • provide for an annual budget and to pay costs from the trust, as part of the normal cost of the plan; and
  • retain professional and technical advisers as necessary for the fulfillment of their statutory responsibilities.
If you’re interested in this position please reply to this email or contact Craig Bulkley at 509-993-9429.

Carryover Bills

It is strategically helpful to understand the nature of “carryover bills” when we start looking ahead to special sessions and the 2016 legislative session.

The legislature works within the framework of a two-year cycle. Just because a bill did not make it all the way through during the regular session in the odd-numbered year does not mean it is “dead.”

At the end of the session, all bills in the second house are returned to the first house; so a House bill in committee in the Senate when session ends is returned to the House. At the start of the next session, be it a special session or the next regular session, bills from the previous session are reintroduced and retained in their present position.

“Carryover” bills can be taken up again in anytime during the biennium. This is in addition to the new bills introduced during the current session. This procedure can make it difficult to keep track of bills during a special session or the second regular session.

WACOPS Bill Report

Click here for the bill report. We appreciate your input and welcome suggestions. Please feel free to contact us with questions or comments. We work for you and the greater input we get, the better we can represent you.

 Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to testify on a bill, please contact us at 1-800-887-2677 or using the information below.


200 Union Ave SE
Olympia, WA 98501