The Fiscal Committee will hold a public hearing on options that would make retired state employees pay more for their health insurance and prescription coverage. The options will be presented by Administrative Services to the Fiscal Committee at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 in Representatives Hall in the State House. Rep. Neal Kurk is keeping the contents of the proposals secret, but it’s clear these changes would once again raise costs on retirees. If we’re to have a chance to prevent this, we need you to be at the hearing to make your voices heard.
Remember that the Fiscal Committee just raised costs on retirees over the winter, changes that fixed the budget hole for retiree health care, so there’s no need to make any changes in this budget. That’s why we need you at this hearing to send a signal to the committee that we are unified in our commitment to keeping the benefits that we were promised during our employment.
Last session, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 supported a bill that requires the Fiscal Committee to hold a public hearing regarding any proposed changes to your health benefits prior to making the changes. Many of you attended hearings on this bill and spoke in support of it. Your efforts were rewarded with the passage of that bill.
This is more than just a proposal to change retiree health benefits — something that affects both retirees and active employees who plan to retire with the state. This is something we should all stand up against.
We know through past experience that your presence makes a difference in the behavior and actions of the committee. In order to preserve the health benefits you were promised and worked so hard for, please do your best to attend. It is critical that you be there. Remember, there is strength in numbers.
If you intend to be there to protect your benefits, please contact Brian Hawkins at 271-3411 ext. 120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.