2018 – Senate Bill 6214: Allowing industrial insurance coverage for post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) of law enforcement and fire fighters.
2018 – Senate Bill 6413: Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law a bill to restrict the use of fire fighting foams containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). PFASs are defined in the legislation as a class of fluorinated organic chemicals, containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom. In March 2018, Washington became the first U.S. state to ban the same chemical class from food contact materials.
2016 – House Bill 2545: Reducing public health threats that particularly impact highly exposed populations, including children and fire fighters, by establishing a process for the Department of Health to restrict the use of toxic flame-retardant chemicals in certain types of consumer products.
2015 – Senate Bill 5591: Allowing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to develop community assistance referral and education services programs. These programs provide a new tier to the EMS system. Similar to fire prevention, this is EMS prevention. CARES programs provide injury and illness prevention and reduce the repetitive need for services.
2014 –Senate Bill 6201: Creating an optional life annuity benefit for Plan 2 members of the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System. Allows LEOFF 2 members to purchase an unlimited annuity through the Department Of Retirement Services using 457 deferred compensation savings. This bill was approved by the House and Senate unanimously.
2014 – House Bill 2456: Correcting the expiration date of a definition of fire fighter. This bill correcting the drafting error from earlier legislation allowing paramedics to join LEOFF 2. If this bill had not passed, paramedics would have been removed from the LEOFF system in the year 2023.
2013 – Senate Bill 5145: Allows fire departments to develop a community assistance referral and education services (FDCARES) program and to accept grants and private gifts for these.
2012 – Senate Bill 5381: Adjusting voting requirements for emergency medical service levies. Modifies passage requirements for renewal of an existing six- or ten-year EMS levy to a simple majority from a super majority. The fire service has been working on this issue for years, and to see the passage is a huge success for future EMS services and the citizens they serve.
2012 – House Bill 2747: Allows funds in the fire service training account to be appropriated for fire service training and for the maintenance, operations, and capital projects of the State Fire Training Academy. This will help fund the replacement of the burn building.
2012 – Senate Bill 5381: Adjusting voting requirements for EMS levies. Modifies passage requirements for renewal of an existing six- or ten-year EMS levy to a simple majority from a super majority. The fire service has been working on this issue for years, and to see the passage is a huge success for future EMS services and the citizens they serve.
2009 – House Bill 1548: Addressing interruptive military service credit within Plans 2 and 3 of the public employees’ retirement system, Plans 2 and 3 of the school employees’ retirement system, Plans 2 and 3 of the teachers’ retirement system, Plan 2 of the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System, Plan 2 of the Washington State Patrol retirement system, and the public safety employees’ retirement system.
2008 – Senate Bill 6573: Created alternate revenue source that added shared revenues to LEOFF Plan 2 and local jurisdictions. When the general state revenues increase by more than five percent, an amount up to fifty million dollars biennially would be divided equally between LEOFF Plan 2 for future benefit improvements and local jurisdictions for public safety purposes.
2007 – House Bill 1833: Added additional presumptive cancers to RCW 51.32.185, including prostate, colorectal, multiple myeloma, and testicular cancers. Further clarified the heart presumptive and added exposure criteria. It further provided that a presumption established in RCW that is appealed to any court or the Board of Industrial Appeals and the final decision allows the claim for benefits all reasonable costs of the appeal, including attorney fees and witness fees, be paid to the fire fighter or his or her beneficiary by the opposing party.
2007 – Fire Fighter JATC Funding: Previously funded by a grant, the Firefighter JATC program received the first state funding at $75,000 each year.
2006 – House Bill 2932: A member who is severely disabled in the line of duty, such that they are incapable of substantial gainful employment in any capacity in the future, would be guaranteed to receive 70% of their salary tax-free for life from LEOFF Plan 2 or up to 100% of salary when combined with workers’ compensation and/or federal Social Security disability benefits for the same injury.
2005 – House Bill 1269: Permitting members of the law enforcement officers’ and fire fighters’ retirement system Plan 2 to make a one-time purchase of additional service credit.
2004 – House Bills 2418, 2419 & Senate Bill 6249: The first bills to be submitted by the LEOFF Plan 2 Retirement Board. All three passed and were signed by Governor Gary Locke.
2003 – The inaugural meeting of the LEOFF Plan 2 Retirement Board is held in the “Forum Building” located in Olympia, WA.
2002 – Initiative 790: Created “The Washington State Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ (LEOFF) Plan 2 Retirement Board.” I-790 was passed by the people of Washington State in November 2002.
2002 – House Bill 2663: Provided an infectious disease, heart, and cancer presumptive within RCW 51.32.185 that previously only covered a respiratory benefit enacted in 1987. Cancers added include brain, malignant melanoma, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder, ureter, and kidney cancer. Added diagnosis of HIV, all strains of hepatitis, meningitis, and tuberculosis. Included a provision to expand the presumptive statute to private fire department employees at Boeing and Hanford.
2002 – Senate Bill 6311: Coverage of presumptive occupational diseases is expanded, adding heart, cancer, and infectious disease to RCW 51.32.185.
2001 – House Bill 1045: Reduced the LEOFF 2 retirement age from 55 to 53 years old, and reducing the actuarial penalty to 3% per year for each year after attaining 50 years of age and 20 years of service.
1999 – Senate Bill 6387: LEOFF I Survivor Benefit clarification: LEOFF 2 cash-out provision added to the retirement system.
1996 – Senate Bill 6154: WSU – allows PERS II fire fighters who work for universities to transfer into the LEOFF system.
1996 – Senate Bill 5322: $150,000 line of duty death benefit established.
1993 – House Bill 1541: EMT certification – provides option of eliminating written exam in favor of a modular testing program.
1993 – House Bill 1081: Collective bargaining binding arbitration for law enforcement, fire department dispatchers, and public hospital paramedics.
1993 – House Bill 1294: LEOFF 2 reduction in service years from 58 to 55 for retirement without being penalized.
1992 – Senate Bill 6286: Legislation that would reduce state’s contribution to the retirement system by a total of $40 million, of which $32 million would be from LEOFF. The WSCFF opposed this legislation.
1989 – Establishment of “Last Alarm” for Fallen Fire Fighters.
1987 – Senate Bill 5801: LEOFF 2 presumptive occupational respiratory disease.
1985 – House Bill 435: LEOFF 2 supplemental disability coverage.
1985 – House Bill 444: LEOFF I separation of duty and non-duty to correct tax problems.
1985 – House Bill 48: Binding arbitration for paramedics.
1983 – Senate Bill 3547: Requiring guard animal registration and posting warnings if animals are on-site.
1983 – Senate Bill 3497: Requiring placards on vehicles that use compressed gas fuels.
Noteworthy and Remarkable History of the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters
1939, September 1 – Washington State Council of Fire Fighters receives charter.
1947 – Washington State Employees’ Retirement System established.
1949 – Washington State Fair Employment Practices Act passed, prohibiting discrimination in employment because of race creed, color, or national origin.
1956 – Right-to-work initiative defeated in Washington State.
1958 – Initiative Measure 202: Another right-to-work initiative defeated by Washington State voters.
1967 – RCW 41.56, providing collective bargaining for public employees in Washington State is enacted.
1970 – The Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters (LEOFF) retirement system established.
1973 – Compulsory arbitration for Washington State fire fighters enacted.
1975 – Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) created and begins operation in January 1976.
1977 – LEOFF 2 established.