SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER Published Monthly except July and August www.narfespokane.org
22 – 03 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees March 2022 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson MARCH CHAPTER MEETING MONDAY MAR. 14, 2022 - 11:30 AM (ZOOM MEETING information below under “Dates for your Calendar”) On February 17, the Senate passed (65-27) a Continuing Resolution, which President Biden signed into law. This was the third continuing resolution since the fiscal year started in October 2021. It funds the government through March 11. This came after the House of Representatives passed the measure also with bipartisan support, 272-162. As Congress extended the deadline, there was also news of a breakthrough in negotiations for full-year FY 2022 funding bills. Congressional leaders indicated they reached an agreement on top-line numbers that would boost both military and non-defense spending. This compromise could lead to a comprehensive deal to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year and avoid another government shutdown. NARFE National President Ken Thomas earlier (2/9/2022) issued the following statement: “This is nothing to celebrate; reliance on continuing resolutions is dereliction of duty on the part of lawmakers. Why Congress refuses to buckle down and pass full-year appropriations bills, instead of settling for just four weeks of funding, is difficult to understand. Lawmakers must end the cycle of perpetual CRs and dismantle the current culture of accepting them as a normal part of the negotiating process. Little, if anything, is gained for either side by delaying agreement. Yet federal agencies are kept in limbo for months due to congressional dysfunction.” Because of current COVID numbers in Spokane County, our membership meetings will continue via zoom until further notice. We are more concerned about maintaining your health than comingling with friends in a public space. You will find information within this newsletter about joining our meeting. I hope to see you then. Please call me at 208-661-7695 or email me at email@example.com if you have any questions regarding Spokane Chapter 32. LEGISLATION RogerBosky The House of Representatives has passed and sent to the Senate the Postal Reform Act of 2022 (HR 3076). This bill provides that OPM set up a health benefit plan for postal employees and retirees. Importantly, the bill requires coordinated enrollment of retirees under Medicare and the new program. NARFE supported this bill after it was amended to prevent unintended increases to federal retirees’ health benefit premiums. Additionally: • Postal retirees can still choose whether to enroll in Medicare Part B. • The requirement that USPS prepay future retirement benefits is repealed. • USPS can sell non-postal services and products within limits. • And the postal service must trade and publish performance measures and initiate measures to deal with inefficiencies. Let’s tell Senators Cantwell and Murray to get behind this bill. In addition, diabetes leads to an excess of insulin, which may alter the amount or status of other neurochemicals reaching the brain. This imbalance may lead to Alzheimer's disease. And finally, elevated blood sugar leads to inflammation. This may also damage brain cells and open the door to Alzheimer’s disease. Reducing Your Risk Consult with a trusted health care professional to determine your blood sugar levels and address your lifestyle accordingly. Over the years a number of strong scientific studies have shown that lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, dietary changes, and exercise are critical for preventing and even managing type- 2 diabetes. ALZHEIMER’S Pat Hegerberg How Does Diabetes Affect Brain Health? Diabetes can affect brain health by raising the risk of heart disease, which in turn can damage blood vessels and block blood flow to the brain. Put simply, chronically high blood sugar is a recipe for poor brain health.
PAST VICE PRESIDENT Arlene Patton F-100 Be Prepared for Life’s Events While one’s death is a difficult topic to discuss, reviewing this information your family will help them to understand the steps they will need to take. You should ensure that your family member review the F-100 guide with you and know where it is located. You also should review the guide periodically to ensure that the information is up to date. The F-100 guide is available on the NARFE.org website. PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch February’s speaker, Candice Correia, Professor at Whitworth, delivered a fascinating history of taxation in the U.S. and some practical information about 2021 taxes. Fifty percent of taxes that help run our government entities and agencies comes from income tax. It started in 1862 with a two-tiered tax rate of 3% for an income of $600-$10,000 and 5% for incomes greater than $10,000. Taxes were mainly for the wealthy. In 1943, taxes were withheld from every citizen’s paycheck, and it was considered a patriotic duty. For filing this year, check out combining the gift tax with the Unified Transfer Tax Credit if you are passing on assets. Required minimum distributions are back and have a steep penalty if not paid. Lastly, there’s only a .7% chance of being audited for ordinary citizens; 3% if you fill out a schedule A or C. Forty percent of people fill out their income tax incorrectly, Thanks, Tami Robinson, for arranging for Candice to join us! Beverly Tryk of People’s Memorial Association will join in March via Zoom as planned. A non-profit for all of Washington, PMA was established in 1939 as a response to high prices and unsavory sales practices of the funeral industry. They are associated with the Funeral Consumers Alliance who encouraged the Federal Trade Commission to adopt a set of pricing standards called the Funeral Rule. This rule allows consumers to obtain accurate price and procedure information from funeral homes. It’s good to know truthful information about this important life passage. Next month Vicky Dalton, Spokane County Auditor, and Mike McLaughlin, Elections Manager, will be talking to us about the integrity and security of Spokane’s elections. In view of the publicity on restrictions to voting in other states, they will be addressing protections in place here in Washington balanced against access to voting. They will also talk about Washington’s voting by mail which has been a model for other locations for many years. Although I indicated we may be meeting back in person in April, due to Vicky and Mike’s busy schedule, they requested to use Zoom. NARFE is more than just a great magazine. Let them know! Promote NARFE anytime you can. The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits and retirement! NARFE = YOUR BEST BET FOR THE FUTURE! SUNSHINE Susan Harvey If you become aware of good news, illnesses, surgeries, or a death of a member or family member, please contact me at 509-953-6828. REMINDER, spouses can be members OR can take over the membership of a deceased member. If you are interested in continuing this very valuable membership, please contact Scott Robinson. He is currently recruiting for a Membership Chair. If you are interested, please contact him. NARFE-PAC MaryAnn Bosky You can contribute to NARFE-PAC contribution form in the NARFE magazine or by sending a check, made out to NARFE-PAC to our post office box. The address is: NARFE, PO Box 4592, Spokane, WA 99220. March is NARFE PAC month which is the perfect time to support NARFE’s political action committee (NARFE-PAC). I hope you will consider contributing to the PAC and help our Washington State Federation (WSF) stand out. Your support of NARFE-PAC goes a long way in the fight for our earned pay and benefits. The funds raised in March will ensure that NARFE members and staff have additional opportunities to spread NARFE’s message to lawmakers, as well as support Fed-friendly candidates in the highly competitive midterm elections this November. Thank you for your commitment to protecting your benefits with NARFE-PAC. Together, we can ensure that the PAC is in a strong position to fight for our community. This month is starting out with no bad/sad news among our membership (at least none reported). Happy Birthday to all the March babies, we are a great group! Happy Anniversary to all the brides and grooms, too. PROGRAM IDEAS If you any ideas as to topics for future chapter meetings, be sure to write or call Chris and Joanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 350- 9866. We want to remain responsive to members’ interests.
DATE FOR YOUR CALENDAR MARCH CHAPTER MEETING MONDAY MAR. 14, 2022- 11:30 AM To Join the Zoom Meeting:
To Join the Zoom Meeting, you can either call 253-215-8782 and enter:
Meeting ID: 847 6320 6413
Or you can click here: NARFE ZOOM LINK SERVICE & OUTREACH Kathy Brooks We are holding our plans for the 2022 Pre-Retirement Seminar for a few months. The class will depend on the pandemic schedule. Keep checking in with us, for the schedule. MEMBERSHIP The Chapter is looking for a Membership Chair. If you are interested, please contact any of the Officers or Directors. Come be a part of a great group of people fighting for your benefits. SPOKANE SERVICE CENTER Narfe0032@gmail.com 509-624-9465 Spokane Washington Chapter 32 PO Box 4592 Spokane, WA 99220 National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 32 NARFE on the Web: National: www.narfe.org WSF: www.narfewa.org Spokane: www.narfespokane.org