UW Retirement Association

Political Advocacy: Current Issues and Ethical Practices

Current issues of concern to retirees

  • NEW! Long Term Care—State of Washington
    A groundbreaking program in Washington is geared to provide some financial relief for people who need long-term care and their caregivers. Washington’s Long Term Care Trust Act, the first of its kind in the nation, passed the legislature in 2019 with bipartisan support.After state residents have paid into a state-managed fund for ten years (three if they experience a catastrophic disabling event) at a rate of $.58 for every $100 of income they earn, they’ll be able to tap $100 a day up to a lifetime cap of $36,500 when they need help with daily activities such as eating, bathing, or dressing.The money can cover a home health aide to provide periodic support and care, or it could be used to install an accessible shower in someone’s home or a ramp so they can get in and out of their front door more easily. It could cover transportation costs to and from medical appointments or could pay to have food delivered to someone who is homebound. Funds can also be used for long-term care facilities such as assisted living, nursing homes and adult family homes.The program will provide relief not just to the elderly but to anyone with disabilities or long-term care needs. More information is available in an article from the New York Times.

    When the Long Term Care Trust Act was going through the legislative process it was the subject of a UWRA forum.

    • See the slides from Nancy Jecker’s November 6, 2017 presentation on Long-Term Care Insurance here.
  • PERS 1 COLA proposal
    On December 12, the Select Committee on Pension Policy (SCPP), an appointed body that studies  and makes recommendations to the state legislature regarding the state’s retirement systems, approved a proposal to provide PERS 1 retirees a one-time three percent cost of living adjustment for pensions up to $25,000.Under this proposal, retirees whose annual pension payments are more than $25,000 would receive a three percent increase on only the first $25,000. This proposal will require legislative action to take effect.

What rules govern advocacy for current UW employees?

You do not give up your rights as a citizen when you become an employee of the state of Washington. However, your political activity must occur on your own (e.g., non-work) time using your own resources (your computer at home, your non-UW email). Use of state (i.e., university) resources for political activity is prohibited under law.

What rules govern advocacy for UW retirees?

As a retiree, you are free to express yourself politically in any way that you see fit. If you maintain a UW office and/or a UW email account, you may not use them for political activity.

Resources on advocacy for state employees:

UW Impact

UW Impact, organized by the UW Alumni Association, is a legislative advocacy program dedicated to mobilizing UW alumni and friends on behalf of the UW and public higher education in Washington. Note: UW employees and retirees may not use state resources, including UW-owned offices, computers or email accounts, for political activity.

Resources for issues concerning the UW and public higher education

Information on issues at the state and federal level affecting retirees

  • Retired Public Employees Council of Washington—This statewide organization, founded in 1971, has as its mission “to promote the interests of retired state, county, city and local government employees.” During the state legislative session it produces a weekly newsletter.
  • AARP—AARP’s advocacy page provides current information on federal proposals that would affect retirees generally.

How to find your state and national representatives

Don’t know your state legislator or your district? Use this website.

How to find your representative in Congress

Contact Your Senators

How to talk to elected officials

  • A guide prepared by League of Women Voters Washington
  • Tips on advocacy from AARP

UWRA’s Legislative and Benefits Committee monitors issues of concern to UW retirees. New committee members are always welcome! Contact UWRA if you’d like more information.