Part of the Washington Legislature’s supplemental budget agreement was tied to a bill addressing early retirement benefits for future state employees.
Senators approved the pension bill Tuesday by a margin of 27-22. It later passed the House, finalizing a deal that eluded lawmakers for months and delayed final action on the state budget.
State workers who retire before the age of 62 already have scaled back pension benefits.
Under the new bill, pension benefits for workers retiring at the age of 55 would be reduced by as much as 50 percent. The changes only apply to workers hired starting in May 2013. The plan would save the state an estimated $1.3 billion over 25 years.
Also Tuesday, the House passed a measure that would require the state’s two-year budget to be in line with anticipated revenue over a four-year period or 4.5 percent growth per year, whichever is greater. The measure, another bill that was part of the budget negotiations, was passed by the Senate and headed to Gregoire’s desk.
Lawmakers also approved a $1 billion capital budget package that supporters say will lead to 18,000 construction jobs. (AP)