H.R. 82 – The Repeal for Fairness Needs You Right Away!

Last week the House Ways and Means Committee stopped our path to a floor vote on full repeal of the WEP and GPO! Here is what we need to do next!

Your Representative must sign a Discharge Petition to keep our chances for repeal going. A super majority has cosponsored H.R.82, but since it got knocked off the Consensus Calendar last week, our next opportunity is to have a simple majority sign a Discharge Petition. 

We are working with the authors of H.R. 82 to help ensure it receives a vote in the House. On Friday, September 30, a Discharge Petition for H.R. 82 should be available to sign, and your Representative must sign the petition as soon as it is available to support the passage of H.R. 82.

If enough of the 302 H.R. 82 cosponsors sign this Discharge Petition as soon as it is introduced, H.R. 82 will finally get our floor vote.

Please call both the home office and the D.C. office of your member of the House of Representatives every day this week. If their local and D.C. numbers aren’t on your auto-dial, it’s an excellent time to add them (Link to House Directory). Here is the D.C. House switchboard number 202-224-3121, which can also connect to your Representative. Ask to speak to the Legislative Director.

Sample Script: 

“My Representative was a cosponsor of H.R. 82, the bill to eliminate the unfair WEP and GPO. The bill reached 302 cosponsors in the House, earning it the right to a floor vote. A day before it qualified to go to the floor for a vote, the Ways and Means Committee Chair pulled it for a hearing which stopped the automatic process. Now it is back waiting for a floor vote. The H.R. 82 sponsor, Representative Rodney Davis, can file a discharge petition at the earliest on Friday, September 30, to demand this vote. I need my Representative to sign the Discharge Petition with the Clerk as soon as it becomes available to save H.R. 82.”

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RSEA and LASERS executives witness Governor John Bel Edwards sign Senate Bill 5 authored by Senator Ed Price becoming Act 656 of the 2022 Legislative Session. Act 656 grants eligible LASERS retirees an historic 13th check.

What You Need to Know About the One-Time Supplemental Payment Act 656 (SB 5) passed in the 2022 General Session of the Louisiana Legislature authorizing a ONE-TIME ONLY supplemental benefit payment for eligible retirees and beneficiaries. This legislation was sponsored by Senator Ed Price, Chair of the Senate Retirement Committee, and LASERS because the average rank-and-file LASERS retiree had not received a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) since 2016. While there were not enough funds in the Experience Account to provide a typical COLA, Act 656 provides some relief in the form of a one-time supplemental payment to over 45,000 eligible LASERS retirees and beneficiaries. Who is eligible for the payment? Retirees and beneficiaries retired for at least one year as of June 30, 2022; Must be at least 60 years of age. Please DO NOT call LASERS to find out if you qualify for the one-time only payment. That determination will not be finalized until our eligible retiree list and payment amounts are reviewed and audited by staff. If you qualify, LASERS will mail notification letters on August 1. Notification will also be posted to your myLASERS account prior to August 1.

One-time payment will be equal to the lesser of the retiree or beneficiary’s current monthly benefit not to exceed $2,000. There will be no deductions made except for federal tax. The legislation authorizes payment to be made no later than September 15, 2022. More details are available at https://lasersonline.org/one-time-supplemental-payment/.

First row, left to right: Tina Grant, LASERS Executive Counsel; Cindy Rougeou, LASERS Executive Director; Governor John Bel Edwards Second row, left to right: Senator Ed Price; Jimmy Anthony, RSEA Administrative Director; Charles Castille, LASERS Legislative Chair; David Thomas, RSEA President; Victor Dennis, RSEA Legislative Chair

 

 RSEA announces the dates for the RSEA 2022 Conference. The dates are October 11-12, 2022 and the event will again be held at the Paragon Casino in Marksville, Louisiana. Stay tuned for more information.

 

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