January 30, 2015

Dear Constituents,

G O   H A W K S   !!!!!

Legislative update

We are wrapping up Week Three in the Legislature and have had a busy week of bill introduction and committee hearings. On Wednesday, 17 days into the session, we finally finished our Senate committee reorganization process by approving membership on the Senate Rules Committee, of which I am a member. This means the Senate is now in a position to move bills out of the Rules Committee to the full Senate for consideration. Next week will likely be quite busy in this regard.

New video update

I recently filmed a new video update about this Session. Some topics return year after year like transportation, and the budget. Every year, there are some new topics. Here’s a link to my video page for this. (It’s about 5 minutes long.)

Fraser_Video update photo

Association of Washington Business (AWB) Panel on Tax & Fiscal Policy

This week I joined legislative budget leads Sen. Andy Hill, R- Redmond; Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina; Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger; and moderator, Former Seattle Mayor and former AWB President Wes Uhlman to talk about major budget and revenue issues facing the Legislature this year. We each had a few minutes to give opening remarks and then responded to questions from the audience. Click on the video link below to watch it. It’s about an hour.

I can’t predict yet how these huge issues will be resolved. In the end, it will undoubtedly be a series of compromises that will make some people happy, some people unhappy, and others merely “relieved” that we’re done!

The top priority of Senate Democrats is to promote growing economic opportunities—for jobs and businesses—that enable financially struggling families in all regions of our state to enjoy decent incomes and financial stability. We want all people to be able to have satisfying lives, be able to raise their children comfortably, to be assured that older and disabled persons are well cared for, and enjoy life in our many wonderful communities throughout the state.

Fundamentals for achieving this include:

  • High quality education and training opportunities—cradle to career.
  • Begin seriously reinvesting in infrastructure of all types—transportation, utilities, university and school buildings, environmental protection and restoration, and more.
  • Invest in people with special needs—to end the desperation of the destitute, the homeless, the neglected, the abandoned, the people at risk of homelessness, the mentally ill, and more.
  • Investing in assuring that the services provided by government are of high QUALITY and adequately funded.

AWB

 ALERT: Healthplanfinder urges RENEWING customers to take immediate action

Health insurance customers who use the new Washington Health Benefit Exchange, who were unable to renew their health care coverage by the Dec. 23 deadline or were unaware of additional action needed on their account, may be eligible for a special, 60-day enrollment opportunity. These customers should fill out an online form to initiate eligibility for retroactive coverage that begins on Jan. 1. These applications will be reviewed by Healthfinder staff to ensure that eligible individuals are able to receive retroactive coverage.

There is still time to enroll, but this time is running out. Customers who are unsure of their enrollment status should review their online accounts or contact the toll-free Customer Support Center at 1-855-923-4633. Local navigators and insurance brokers can be located via wahealthplanfinder.org and are available to answer questions.

The Exchange will send out additional notices via email or mail to customers who had 2014 coverage with more information regarding the current status of their application. Residents interested in signing up for health coverage may visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

Washington Healthplanfinder is a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses in Washington to compare health insurance options available, to enroll in health insurance coverage, and to gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing and public programs such as Medicaid. The open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder began on Nov. 15, 2014 and extends through Feb. 15, 2015.

Washington Health Benefit Exchange is a public-private partnership established in accordance with the national Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 which implements the new health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. The Exchange is a nonprofit organization, separate from state government, and is governed by an independent, 11-member board.

Travel made easier – know before you go!

Would you like to:

  • See real-time traffic conditions before you get in your car and make a trip?
  • View a ferry schedule and buy a ticket?
  • Find a car or vanpool?
  • Learn about a highway construction project?

These are just a few of the many services offered on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s website. It’s viewer friendly and loaded with helpful information that’s easy to use to help improve your transportation experience—-whether driving a car, riding a bicycle, or taking public transportation.

Below is a sample of what the web page looks like.

WSDOT

 

My most important job is to represent YOU.

Please let me know your opinions on any matter before us. My contact information is:

  • fraser@leg.wa.gov
  • Hotline phone: 1-800-562-6000
  • Office phone: 360-786-7642
  • Address: PO Box 40422, Olympia, WA 98504-0422

 

I look forward to continuing to hear from you,

Karen Fraser_signature