Ice Miller is a law firm located in Chicago with offices in several cities. The firm serves as counsel to the State of Washington primarily on tax issues. Whenever the state is concerned about potential tax issues in legislation they normally engage Ice Miller to conduct a review. As such they serve as an acting attorney general. Because of this their opinions are normally held to be confidential and are not made available to the citizens of the state. Once in a while that confidentiality is broken and we get a look at their advice.
An Ice Miller opinion was included in the LEOFF 1/LEOFF 2 merger study, see http://rspoa.org/pdf/6668/2011_LEOFFMergStudy.pdf page 72.
Two additional opinions have been discovered and they are very interesting as they show how SB 6668 was developed. Your will remember that our first notice of this proposal came from the Senate Ways and Means staff the day before a scheduled hearing on the bill. Prior to that time we had been assured that no bills impacting LEOFF 1 or a merger were being considered. Well, that was simply not true.
As you read these two latest Ice Miller reviews you will see that they were being considered as early as June 2013. At that date they were reviewing the third draft of the proposal. It did not go forward at that time as they continued to develop the bill and another opinion was issued in April 2015. See http://leoff1.net/pdf/2013_Ice_Miller_Ltr.pdf and http://leoff1.net/pdf/2015_Ice_Miller_Ltr.pdf
So it becomes pretty clear that the legislature was reviewing the concept and honing the legislation for at least two years before it was introduced as SB 6668.
The State Actuary was directly involved.
Of course the State Actuary also serves as a part of the Select Committee on Pension Policy staff as well as providing advice to other legislators. Yet members of the SCPP claimed no knowledge of the proposal and that includes members who sit on both committees.
So that is what we are up against as we try to protect our pension. Plots are concocted behind closed doors and cloaked in protected legal opinions until they can be thrown at us as a surprise. Of course this attitude is another reason we strongly suspect the so called round table discussions will not produce anything more than another attempt to lull us into complacency.