NARFE - Chapter 97
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Monthly Chapter Meetings & Newsletters:

 >   The normal monthly meeting at the Crestwood  Christian Church on Bellefonte Dr  (enter from parking lot side doors) has ample parking for everyone. There is a short time for refreshments from 1:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 2:00 p.m. The speaker is the first on the program for about 30 minutes and the business meeting immediately after. We try to limit the meeting to an hour or a little over. 

NATIONAL ACTIVE AND RETIRED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION
CENTRAL KENTUCKY CHAPTER
5020 Jennie Kate Ln,  Lexington, KY 40510
www.narfe.org/chapter97


Paula Bayer, PRESIDENT             Ethel V. Hanna, 2nd V-PRES
5020 Jennie Kate Lane                 3817 Aria Lane
Lexington, KY 40514                     Lexington, KY 40510-9721
(859) 226-9663                             (859) 272-5536(H) 492-0410 ( C)  pgbayer@aol.com                        ethelhanna@gmail.com           


Vickie Batzka, SECRETARY         Debbie Price, TREAS.
4785 Hartland Pkwy                     637 Regent Rd
Lexington, KY 40504                    Versailles, Ky 40383   
(859) 321-2551                              (859) 576-5384     
vbatzka@hotmail.com                    debbiejp@windstream.net                      

 
Kenneth Overhults, 1st                     
V. PRES. & MEMB. LIAISON        NEWSLETTER EDITOR 
460  Spencer Park                        Paula Bayer                                
Lexington, KY 40515                     (see above)      
(859) 272-6413                     
koverhults@juno.com              

Leona Hopkins, SUNSHINE       J. Henry Duncan - Dist. V VICE PRES.
2272 Camberling Drive              190 Birch Lane
Lexington, KY 40515                  Versailles, KY 40383-9140
(859) 272-7062                           (859) 873-5399
                                                    jhduncan2@aol.com
 
Service Officer Team
 Patricia W. Hunt                     

 3352 Hunting Hills Ct.
Lexington KY 40515             
  (859) 492-7490
pwhunt27@aol.com 
 
NEWSLETTER JULY-AUG 2021
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer. I look forward to resuming our Chapter meetings and activities in person.

We held the Chapter 97 Distinguished members’ luncheon on June 2, 2021 at Bella Notte. Glenn Evan Kelly was the only distinguished member who was able to attend along with chapter board members and our District V -VP. Glenn was presented the distinguished member pin and certificate (pictures on the chapter webpage). We personally thank Glenn Kelly for his dedication and continued support of NARFE Chapter 97.

At this time I would like to pay a special tribute to Tom Miller for his service and dedication to NARFE.

Tom informed me that after much deliberation, he regrettably will retire from his position as the Legislative Chair for the Kentucky Federation and Chapter 97, for health reasons. Tom shared how much he valued his legislative work with NARFE.

Tom has been a member of NARFE since April 1997 and has served in the Legislative position since 2006. He has attended the NARFE Legislative Conferences as well as the Kentucky Federation conferences. As the Legislative Chair he has met with and fostered relationships with our Kentucky legislators and their legislative staff. He has gained the respect of legislators and staff (as evidenced by the comments made to those of us who attended the LEGCON21 conference in June and met with the legislative staff). Tom maintains ongoing communication with the legislators and keeps them apprised of  NARFE’s legislative priorities, provides them with the appropriate NARFE documents, all of which is the advocacy necessary to protect the pay and benefits of active and retired federal employee (which is the mission of NARFE).

Tom also provided the monthly Legislative Report for the Chapter newsletter, so members are informed on what the key legislative issues are and how they may impact our pay and benefits. He encourages us all to become stronger NARFE advocates by making our voices heard through phone calls and letters to our legislators.

I personally want to thank Tom for his many years of service to NARFE and his continued support of our chapter. I am so grateful for his support and friendship and encourage other members to take a moment to thank Tom as well. 

Note that August is Grassroots Advocacy Month!

The next NARFE Webinars, at 2:00pm, are August 21, 2021 “Protecting your Federal Benefits in Divorce” and August 26 on “Smart Tax Moves for Federal Employees”. To register go to www.NARFE.org.

Everyone continue to stay healthy and safe.  Paula Bayer

Our trip to NARFE’s LEGCON21 Conference

LEGCON21, held June 21-23, 2021, was an opportunity for Kentucky NARFE members to join members from across 43 other states to participate in this biennial virtual training event. This conference provided a unique opportunity for NARFE members at all levels of participation to learn from the top experts how to make the most of virtual meetings with our legislators. Our NARFE National President, Ken Thomas, emphasized the importance that NARFE relies on Grassroots advocates such as us to connect the dots in carrying out NARFE’s mission of advocating on behalf of the Federal Community of workers and Annuitants. He emphasized that NARFE members showing up for such Advocacy events shows our devotion to NARFE and its mission. It is the same for each of us participating at town hall type events and other local events with legislators out in our State.

Paula Bayer, Chapter 97, Lexington, Mary Lou Andres, Chapter 262, Louisville, and Henry Duncan, DVP, District V, participated in this year’s LEGCON21 event. We did get to advocate directly with the staffs of four legislators: Senator McConnell, Senator Paul, Congressmen Andy Barr and Brett Guthrie.

There does seem to be an issue with NARFE members actively communicating and interacting with Legislators. Surveys show that 100% of federal legislators and their staffs utilize Facebook and twitter as their effective communication tools, but 65% of NARFE members do not use email or social media. Personal letters written to offices in the Capitol take three weeks to be processed, as the mail must be scanned and searched for chemicals and other problems.

We are urged to utilize the communication tools available on the NARFE’s website for sending letters and messages to legislators.

We are also encouraged to communicate the old-fashioned way with our legislators. Get to know them personally, a very effective way to advocate. Invite them to our events; there, we can communicate our personal situations with them as we ask for their support.

Remember, they work for us, those whom they represent!       Henry Duncan, DVP, District V

AUGUST PICNIC

Our annual chapter picnic at Jacobson Park is scheduled for 5pm on Saturday August 7. We again have reserved shelter 4 at the top of the hill on the right as you enter. The chapter will furnish the fried chicken and beverages and members are asked to bring a dish of your choice, either a salad, vegetable, or dessert to share with other attendees.

We can also use a few 8 foot tables for serving the food and you are welcome to bring lawn chairs. We have invited members from our other district chapters and the Ky. Federation President and his wife. We have also extended an invitation to Congressman Andy Barr. If you plan to attend please call Paula Bayer by 8/3 at (859)226-9663 or email pgbayer@aol.com. Hope you can join us and also help celebrate NARFE’s Centennial.

NEXT CHAPTER MEETING

The next chapter meeting will be on Wednesday September 1, 2021 at 2:00 pm at Crestwood Christian Church after a 1:30 pm social and refreshment period. The program speaker will be Phill Pittman of Honor Flight KY. (Flights resume on 9/25/21). Hope to see you all.

MEMBER NEWS

We also regret to report the deaths of chapter members Thomas Ladd and Orville Whitaker, chapter member Debbie Price’s father Tommie Lee Reynolds and Brett Lemaster son of members Richard and Joan Lemaster. Our condolences to their family and friends.

OUTREACH AND UPCOMING EVENTS

Ethel Hanna reminds members that the Chapter 97 Walk to End Alzheimer’s is on 9/25/21.  Our team NARFE 97 is on the website so you can register for the walk or make a donation online and/or send a check to Ethel.

We will be collecting school supplies/back packs and you can bring them to the picnic or our 9/1/21 meeting.     

A date for the chapter book sale has not been set as the Senior Center cannot commit at this time. If you have questions you can call Ethel Hanna at (859) 492-0410.

Members have contributed $990.00 for our charities.

 KY. FEDERATION & REGION X CONFERENCE

Is scheduled for September 21-23, 2021 at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort, Ky. The registration cost is $100 (which includes two catered lunches and a grab and go lunch on the 23rd. The hotel cost is $105 plus tax. More information will be provided in September newsletter.

 LEGISLATIVE REPORT

During our LEGCON21 conference, NARFE identified the following Legislative priorities for the 117 Congress and encourage members to contact their Legislators to support these priorities.

 The Social Security Fairness Act H.R. 82 and S.1302 would fully repel both the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset(GPO).

It unfairly reduces Social Security benefits of many federal, state and local government retirees due their receipt of a government pension (WEP reduces primary benefits and GPO reduces spousal benefits) and together, affects over 2.5 million NARFE members nationwide.

To date 187 Representatives have cosponsored this legislation, including all of the KY. Representatives.

 On July 1, 2021 The Fair Cola for Seniors Act, H. R. 4315 was reintroduced in the house.  The bill would require the use of the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), which calculates a price index for Americans age 62 and older, to determine annual COLAs for Social Security beneficiaries, federal annuitants, military retirees and certain veterans’ benefits instead of the CPI-W. The CPI-W fails to account for seniors’ spending habits, notably that of medical care. Adoption of the CPI-E could increase COLAs by an average of 0.27% and adds up over time.

Also ask representatives to cosponsor the Equal COLA Act, H.R. 304, to ensure FERS COLAs match the change in consumer prices (not capped at 2%).

The Postal Service Reform Act of 2021, H.R.3076 / S. 1720. This bill would allow postal retirees the option to enroll in Medicare instead of forcing it as a condition of retaining their federal health insurance. The bill would also create a new Postal Service Health Benefits (PSHB) program for USPS employees and retirees starting in January 2023. OPM which administers the FEHB program would also administer the new PSHB program. With some exceptions, all postal workers and Medicare-covered postal retirees would be covered by PSHB plans. However, postal retirees without Medicare would remain in FEHB and not move into the new PSH plans (resulting in the FEHB plans covering all their health care costs). NARFE has concerns that, as written this bill could cause premiums to increase for both current and retired federal employees. NARFE encourages Congress to obtain analysis from OPM and CBO regarding the effect on FEHB premiums prior to any further action on this bill. If analysis show any adverse effect on FEHB premiums, the bill should be amended to prevent it.   Any reform of the USPS must not come at the expense of the health benefits of federal employees and retirees.

The Federal Adjustment of Income Rate (FAIR) ACT, H.R. 392/S.561 would provide a 3.2% federal pay raise for 2022; a 2.2% across the board and a 1% locality pay adjustment. Federal pay rates must remain competitive with those in the private- sector, to be able to recruit talented workers and retain its best and brightest federal employees.

Please contact and encourage our legislators to SUPPORT these initiatives by calling the Advocacy Hotline at 800-456-8410 (option 5) or call their offices; Congressman  Barr can be reached M-F at his office, 2709 Old Rosebud Rd, Lexington, KY. 40509, (859) 219-1366. Senator McConnell’s Lexington office is at 771 Corporate Dr., Suite 108, 40503, (859) 224-8286.

Senator Paul’s office is at 1029 State St., Bowling Green, KY. 42101, (270) 782- 8303.