The Washington State Legislature For the Past several Years has been engaged in a cynical and extra-legal attempt to take funds that by established law, ( Ice Miller) (Talmadge-Bakenhus -V- City of Seattle)and ( Section 23 of the Washington State Constitution), can only be used to benefit the contributing members of the retirement plan. This situation on reflection is outrageous.
The State is in effect attempting to take control over the surplus in the LEFF 1 retirement to relieve a short fall in the teacher’s retirement fund. I have called this action an extra legal action. To put it bluntly it is theft!
It was theft from widows, orphans, and retired aging and disabled servants of the state. It is theft from those who answered a call to service, at a time in history when it was unpopular to enter the police profession.
To Attract Qualified applicants the State created the LEFF1 Retirement System. The system was funded by the members. As it turns out the system was over funded and a sizable surplus has been created. One of the reasons for the surplus was the belief that in the short run a flood of retirees would stress the fund and it may have created a burden on the state. This did not happen owing in great part to the dedication of those who served prior to the establishment of the fund. They didn’t flee the service as predicted. The carried on and By God I for one was glad for it. Yah some of them were gruff and hard but the job called for that. They both taught us and learned from us. The service made many changes. You Might say it grew up in the decades following the 1960s.
The men and woman who served under this system laid it all on the line; they don’t deserve this theft of their assets. Yes their assets!
The large sums of money sitting in the fund are apparently to great a temptation for a group of legislators bent on finding way to pay off their constituents for the votes that keep them in office. We find the actions of this group distasteful and frankly disgusting.
The proper solution to this problem is to remove the temptation. The fund should retain only 5% or 10% of the surplus and return the balance to the surviving members based on their individual service credits.
Trying to pay us off with some of the money and taking the rest is an insult. Whom do you think you are you who grind the face of the poor? What makes you think the good people of the state, once they know the facts, will let you get away with this?
S. Henry Knocker