STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT ‑- MEMBERS EMPLOYED BY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ‑- PLAN FOR OASI COVERAGE AT EXTRA COST ‑- NEED FOR LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL
No prior legislative approval is required for plans for OASI coverage for school district employees now under the state employees retirement system although additional cost may be involved.
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May 25, 1955
Honorable John M. Ryder
6811 55 Avenue, N. E.
Seattle, Washington Cite as: AGO 55-57 No. 81
You have requested our opinion in regard to the applicability of House Bill 4 of the 1955 Extraordinary Session to school district employees. That bill has now been designated as chapter 4, Laws of 1955 Ex. Sess.
We have taken the liberty of paraphrasing your question as follows:
Is prior legislative approval required under subsection 5 (d) for plans covering school district employees who are members of the state employees retirement system, where additional cost will be involved?
In our opinion, the answer to your question is "No."
Chapter 4, Laws of 1955, Ex. Sess., amends certain provisions of RCW chapter sp,d=ago-1955,nc Ex. Sess. This subsection provides that no plan shall be approved by the Governor unless‑-
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
"(d) It provides that in the plan of coverage for members of the state teachers' retirement system or forstate employee members of the state employees' retirement system, there shall be no additional cost to or involvement of the state until such plan has received prior approval by the legislature;" (Emphasis supplied)
The requirement of prior legislative approval set forth in this subsection has applicationonly to a proposed plan covering members of the teachers retirement system and state employee members of the state employees retirement system. Elsewhere in chapter 4 the legislature has also distinguished between state employees covered by the state employees retirement system and other public employees covered by the system. [See subsection 3 (4) (f)]
We think it is clear that the employees of a school district, although covered by the state employees retirement system, are not "state employee members" within the terms of subsection 5 (d). Further, the reference in subsection 5 (d) to "additional cost to or involvement of the state" indicates that the legislature wished to reserve the right of approval where the expenseto the state, as an employer, might be increased by the plan because of higher overall employer contributions.
We therefore conclude that no prior legislative approval is required by subsection 5 (d) with respect to plans covering school district employees, although additional cost may be involved.
We recognize that chapter 4 may give rise to other serious questions. If [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] and when such questions are presented to this office, we will of course give them immediate and thorough consideration.
Very truly yours,
ROBERT L. SIMPSON
Assistant Attorney General