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Fundraiser for Darrington FF vicitim of Oso mudslide.

Oso firefighter Seth Jefferds lost his home, his wife (Christina Jefferds), his granddaughter (Sinoah Huestis), his dog, everything - in the Oso mudslide. 

The Darrington Volunteer Firefighters Association is conducting a fund raiser to allow Seth to purchase a home.  Their goal is $250,000.

The Darrington Volunteer Firefighter's Association will start with a $1000.00 donation that will be placed in an account at Coastal Community Bank.  100% of donations will go directly to Seth and the account will be closed when the goal is met.

Those wishing to help may send donations to Coastal Community Bank to the "Jefferds Firefighter Fund." 

Contact DFVA Treasurer, Jessica Nemnich at rjnemnich@gmail.com with questions.  If you are able, please send a patch from your department.  We will be creating a memorial board with patches from the supporting agencies to present to Seth.  Checks may be mailed to:

Darrington Volunteer Firefighters Association                            
PO Box 1238
Darrington, WA 98241

Please make checks payable to DVFA with a memo that it should be paid to the  "Jefferds Firefighter Fund."  Thank you for stepping up and helping a fellow firefighter!

(Editor's Note: Dick's message this month deals with a number of internal issue for the RFFOW, so RFFOW members or retired Firefighters should refer to Dick's publication for important membership information.  We have extracted Dick's excellent discussion of the Oso mud slide and include it in this article.)

Our hearts and prayers go out to the residents of Oso and to the families and loved ones of those who were killed, injured or missing in the tragic Snohomish mudslide. Governor Inslee said “This tragedy is one of the worst in Washington history and one of the deadliest landslides seen in the United States.” We have seen many tragedies in our careers, accidents and natural disasters, but I don’t believe many of us have witnessed anything of this magnitude in our private or professional life.

The National Association of State Retirement Administrators has published a February 2014 brief on cost of living adjustments (COLA) for state and local retirement income.

Most state and local governments provide a COLA for the purpose of offsetting or reducing the effects of inflation, which erodes the purchasing power of retirement income. Such depreciation can affect the sufficiency of retirement benefits, particularly for those who are unable to supplement their income due to disability or advanced age.

Social Security beneficiaries are provided an annual COLA to maintain recipients’ purchasing power. Similarly, most state and local governments provide an inflation adjustment to their retiree pension benefits.

LEOFF 1 COLA for 2014

COLAs for LEOFF Plan 1 - EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2014

Retirement Dates

Adjustments

April 2, 2013 – March 31, 2014

0.00%

January 1, 2013 – April 1, 2013

1.22%

April 2, 2012 – December 31, 2012

3.79%

Prior to April 2, 2012

1.22%

Week eight (March 3 - 8) is over and just six days remain until the Legislature adjourns -- Thursday of next week.  After 5 PM today, March 7, the only remaining business will be finalizing the budget, bill necessary to implement the budget, and reconciling the differences between bill that have passed both the Senate and the House.

At this point, it continues to appear that LEOFF 1 has not been impacted or hurt by actions during this session. 

We are reproducing here part of the WACOPS legislative summary for the week.  Our focus is on pension matters, so we have excluded a number of other areas dealing with now pension issues. Although LEOFF 1 and WACOPS have disagreed over issues in the past, we have no current issues and they produce an excellent review of legislative activity. 

Week 7 ended on February 28th.  So far, nothing has surfaced in this legislative session that we see as a threat to LEOFF 1.  This late in the session we are beginning to think we will get through the entire session without any big issues. The following is a report on Week 7 by Jamie Daniels of WACOPS.

February 28th was the last day for bills from the opposite chamber to pass out of policy committees. March 3rd will be the last day for fiscal bills to pass. March 7th will be the last day for legislation to be passed on the floor by the House and Senate. Remember that there are always exceptions to these cut off dates. The most notable exception are bills that are necessary to implement to budget (NTIB).
WACOPS issues a weekly report on the Legislative Session.  While in past sessions we have found ourselves in conflict with some WACOPS policies, we still share many of the same goals.  They have a paid staff in Olympia and do a good job of covering the legislature.  As always, we will point out and disagreements in policy issue, but as of now we have no policy conflicts.

At this point we are one-third of the way through the 60-day Legislative Session. Committees are in full swing this week and next in the run up to the first bill cutoff on Friday, February 7th.

Any policy bill that is not necessary for the implementation of the budget must be passed out of its original committee by that date.
The 2014 Legislative Session was called to order on Monday January 13, 2014. The session is scheduled for sixty days in the even numbered years. This being an election year, the goal for our elected officials will be to complete the business in sixty days. Education funding is always an issue especially now with the Supreme Court McCleary  Decision, a mandate to fully fund K -12 education by 2018. With the talk of a huge transportation package I’m sure the threat of a ten cent increase in the gas tax is on the voter’s minds. It seems like yesterday we had an increase in the gas tax of nine cents a gallon. One has to wonder how we built and maintained the highways, bridges and other infrastructure years ago when gas was twenty-four cents a gallon and fewer car owners were purchasing gas.
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