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Welcome to AWC’s online library of Legislative Bulletin and CityVoice news articles and other updates.

Published on Friday, March 15, 2013

Personnel bills moving and how they impact cities

With personnel being one of the largest cost drivers in municipal budgets, AWC has been very watchful of proposals that would either reduce or increase these costs. The last few sessions, AWC has supported legislation to make changes to binding interest arbitration statutes to include criteria regarding an employer’s ability to afford any award. This year a bill was introduced again, SB 5733; however, due to pressure from labor and the limited chances the bill had to advance in the House, the bill was not heard in the Senate.

We are also tracking the following personnel-related bills that have moved from the House to the Senate. AWC continues to monitor these bills and we are happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have. Please contact Candice Bock or Brittany Sill.

  • HB 1868 would provide for additional insurance reimbursements, like medical insurance premiums, for LEOFF 2 members who are not eligible for employer-sponsored medical insurance, Medicare, or COBRA coverage. There are some rare instances where these individuals are not eligible for Medicare, so this bill would expand it to cover their health insurance premiums from private insurance companies, not to exceed the COBRA rate. This would include individuals who are not able to be gainfully employed.
  • HB 1884 expands benefits and changes how the rate of compensation is calculated for occupational diseases that are known to be “terminal” (diseases that would result in death within twelve months). The calculation for benefits may include when the disease was first contracted or when the disease prohibited the individual from being able to work, whichever is of greater benefit to the employee. HB 1884 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on March 20 at 1:30pm.
  • HB 1903 allows an employer employing a person on a part-time basis who is receiving unemployment benefits to request relief from benefit charges in certain circumstances.
  • HB 1923 expands eligibility to certain PERS members to participate in PSERS as well. It extends certain benefits for employees of DSHS and city or county corrections officers and others who provide direct care to, or ensure the custody and safety of, offenders. AWC expressed concerns about the potential for increased costs due to this proposal.
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