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Monthly Archives: February 2014

7 02, 2014

Mullet bill seeks to remove Christian Science exemption for prayer as medical care

February 7th, 2014|Radio|

The Christian Science religion would no longer be exempt from using prayer as medical care under bill proposal. (TRT: :58) Nicole Vukonich reports. CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

4 02, 2014

BILLS TO WATCH: Prolonging the cycle of debt

February 4th, 2014|Uncategorized|

WHAT: Senate Bill 6491

SPONSORED BY: Sens. Tom, Sheldon, Bailey, Braun, Ericksen, Honeyford, Parlette, Benton, Roach

WHERE IT’S AT: Scheduled for a hearing in Human Services and Corrections (2/4/14, 10 a.m. SHR 1)

WHAT IT DOES: Requires EBT cardholders to purchase new cards that include photo identification.

FACTS ABOUT THIS PROPOSED PROGRAM:

  • A similar program was proposed in 2012 but went nowhere in part because of a first-year price tag of more than $17 million with subsequent costs of $5 million per year after that.
  • Senate Bill 6491 gets around the costly start-up and administrative expense by shifting the cost onto the more than 670,000 EBT cardholders by requiring them to pay for this new expense.
  • The vast majority of WA EBT cardholders receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Under federal SNAP laws, caregivers must be allowed to purchase groceries on the behalf of immobile seniors and the disabled in their care.
  • This bill puts grocers in the position of either violating federal law by denying purchases completed by caregivers OR simply allowing anyone to use the card, thereby defeating the purpose of the bill.
  • Under the bill, seniors will have to travel to a state licensing center to get their photos taken for the card. If they cannot manage to do so, even if they are immobile or severely disabled, they will lose all benefits.

PAST EXAMPLE OF THIS PROGRAM

  • New York recently abandoned its photo ID program for cash assistance, citing high administrative costs and a lack of effectiveness at deterring fraud.

QUOTE FROM SEN. JEANNIE DARNEILLE:

“We must be sure that state programs are run efficiently, but this is not the answer.  This idea, forcing recipients to buy additional photo identification, adds a financial burden to all participants, and, for the immobile and disabled, it is a logistical nightmare.

“This went nowhere in New York, and should go nowhere here.  These programs exist as a way for people to climb out of debt and into the middle class. Extra financial burdens only prolong that process.”

4 02, 2014

BILLS TO WATCH: Prolonging the cycle of debt

February 4th, 2014|Eye on the Majority, Uncategorized|

WHAT: Senate Bill 6491

SPONSORED BY: Sens. Tom, Sheldon, Bailey, Braun, Ericksen, Honeyford, Parlette, Benton, Roach

WHERE IT’S AT: Scheduled for a hearing in Human Services and Corrections (2/4/14, 10 a.m. SHR 1)

WHAT IT DOES: Requires EBT cardholders to purchase new cards that include photo identification.

FACTS ABOUT THIS PROPOSED PROGRAM:

  • A similar program was proposed in 2012 but went nowhere in part because of a first-year price tag of more than $17 million with subsequent costs of $5 million per year after that.
  • Senate Bill 6491 gets around the costly start-up and administrative expense by shifting the cost onto the more than 670,000 EBT cardholders by requiring them to pay for this new expense.
  • The vast majority of WA EBT cardholders receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Under federal SNAP laws, caregivers must be allowed to purchase groceries on the behalf of immobile seniors and the disabled in their care.
  • This bill puts grocers in the position of either violating federal law by denying purchases completed by caregivers OR simply allowing anyone to use the card, thereby defeating the purpose of the bill.
  • Under the bill, seniors will have to travel to a state licensing center to get their photos taken for the card. If they cannot manage to do so, even if they are immobile or severely disabled, they will lose all benefits.

PAST EXAMPLE OF THIS PROGRAM

  • New York recently abandoned its photo ID program for cash assistance, citing high administrative costs and a lack of effectiveness at deterring fraud.

QUOTE FROM SEN. JEANNIE DARNEILLE:

“We must be sure that state programs are run efficiently, but this is not the answer.  This idea, forcing recipients to buy additional photo identification, adds a financial burden to all participants, and, for the immobile and disabled, it is a logistical nightmare.

“This went nowhere in New York, and should go nowhere here.  These programs exist as a way for people to climb out of debt and into the middle class. Extra financial burdens only prolong that process.”

3 02, 2014

Bill would eliminate state insurance commissioner, expand government

February 3rd, 2014|Radio|

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner would be eliminated under a Republican proposal. (TRT: :53) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

3 02, 2014

BILLS TO WATCH: Safe oil transportation is key to safe communities

February 3rd, 2014|Eye on the Majority|

WHAT: Senate Bill 6524

SPONSORED BY: Senators Ericksen, Sheldon, Benton, Baumgartner, Holmquist Newbry, Braun, Parlette, Dammeier

MAJOR DIFFERENCES WITH SB 6262 (OIL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY ACT):

  • Doesn’t include the provision that would give basic information, such as quantity and type of oil, being moved through impacted communities.
  • Removes provision for marine spill prevention and replaces them with a study.

FACTS ABOUT 6524 AND OIL TRANSPORTATION

  • Takes funding from other environmental projects and appropriates it to first responders in impacted communities.
  • The Bakken crude oil being transported through Washington is much more dangerous and combustible than the oils being transported when many of our state’s safety laws were written in the 1970s.
  • Knowing the types of oil being transported through their communities allows first responders to prepare for a disaster, if and when it occurs.
  • More oil was spilled from trains in North America in 2013 than the previous 37 years combined.

QUOTE FROM SEN. CHRISTINE ROLFES:

“The public has the right to know what the rail and oil industry isn’t telling us. No amount of money can replace good information, and first responders need to be able to plan for emergencies based on information, not best guesses.

“Both parties in the state Legislature are working on this public safety issue, and of course we have different approaches. But the recent, dramatic increase in oil transportation is a serious and imminent concern for communities all over Washington, and it is vital that the Legislature work together, have the best interests of those communities in mind, and get this right.”