State Workers

State Workers » 2013 » March (Page 2)

State Workers

NOTICE: State Workers has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved State Workers.
Visit the new section.

Archives: March 2013

March
11th

Senate votes 49-0 to pass bill limiting paid in-home assignments when state workers are under investigation

The state Senate unanimously approved a bill early Monday evening that puts limits on home assignments of workers sent home during investigations. Senate Bill 5160 says a home assignment can last up to 15 days and that an agency can extend it in 30-day increments – but all such assignments must be reported to the state human resources officer.

The bill grew out of problems with home assignments that became exceptionally long and cost taxpayers for salaries. A KING-5 television report last year found that since 2006, the state had paid more

Read more »

March
11th

State Agriculture Dept. director Dan Newhouse is leaving; says Inslee wants new direction

When Rep. Dan Newhouse left the House four years ago to join then-Gov. Chris Gregoire’s cabinet as director of the Department of Agriculture, he added a new dimension: Newhouse  is a Republican with roots in Eastern Washington farming. His family grows hops, fruit, grapes and alfalfa.

But now he’s leaving, because he says that Gov. Jay Inslee wants to go in a new direction and is announcing a replacement hiring tomorrow morning.

Here’s Newhouse’s email to staff today:

I know the past several months have been difficult as we have seen several retirements, a new administration, a federal budget crisis

Read more »

March
8th

Carrell’s bill adding protection for state-agency whistleblowers sails through Senate

The Senate voted unanimously Friday to pass a bill from Sen. Mike Carrell that lets whistle blowers provide information to state ethics investigators without fear of being identified publicly. It also has provisions to punish any supervisor who retaliates with at least a reprimand and potentially a 30-day suspension and civil fines of up to $5,000.

Carrell, a Republican senator from Lakewood, says that two whistle blowers at the Department of Corrections – whom he is not publicly identifying – suffered retaliation after bringing wrongdoing to light by a supervisor.

“One has already left the agency because of

Read more »

March
8th

Is DSHS secretary Quigley a force for ‘disruptive’ change at state’s largest agency? Senate to confirm him on March 18

The appointment of  Democrat Kevin Quigley as the new state Department of Social and Health Services secretary is scheduled to be confirmed March 18 in the state Senate, where he served nearly two decades ago and had a hand in health-care policy.

Jim Brunner of The Seattle Times has done a thorough profile of Quigley, the state senator-turned-corporate lawyer and later president of an Everett shipyard who now takes the helm of the largest state agency with about 17,755 employees, which often finds itself in the news when things go wrong – which might be inevitable given the agency’s difficult duties.

Read more »

March
4th

James Carter, director of DSHS operations and support division, dies unexpectedly

The Department of Social and Health Services lost one of its division leaders over the weekend. James R. Carter, who was considered the agency’s go-to guy on maintenance, leasing and building-related topics, was director of the Operations Support and Services Division which has more than 400 employees.

Carter was 63 and he died “very unexpectedly” at home, DSHS spokesman Thomas Shapley said. Carter had a previous Army career that earned him the rank of colonel and put him in high-places – including the White House Military Office.

The cause of death, assumed to be health-related, was not yet identified.

In

Read more »

March
4th

Employment Security needs to cut about 400 jobs; as many as 260 getting lay off notices

Another round of layoffs is in the works for the Washington state Employment Security Department, which added staff to handle surges of unemployment insurance claims during the worst of the Great Recession and has been cutting ever since. The agency now has another 300 to 400 more job cuts to go, agency spokeswoman Sheryl Hutchison said Monday.

“We had planned to lay off about 300 at the end of June or early July,” Hutchison said, citing the impact of shrinking jobless rates and smaller allocations from the federal government. “Now we’re looking at about 400 in May. The good news

Read more »

March
4th

UPDATE: Envelope sent to Capitol office contained tea

UPDATE from the Associated Press:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Officials at the Washington state Capitol say that a letter that arrived at a Capitol office building didn’t contain powder, as they initially believed, but tea.

Bob Calkins, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol, says that while they’ll still continue to investigate that the contents of the white teabag is actually tea, at this point “our level of concern has dropped.”

The letter was being held in the security office at John Cherberg Building, which houses Senate offices. Calkins said he did not yet have information on who the letter was addressed to.

Previous post:

Read more »

March
4th

State elections staffer Shane Hamlin cited as one of country’s top 25 tech ‘doers, dreamers’ by national magazine

Assistant state elections director Shane Hamlin has been honored nationally as one of the country’s top 25 “Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” for his voter-registration efforts. The Office of the Secretary of State announced the citation last week in a blog post.

The post says the award was made by  e.Republic’s Government Technology magazine and the Center for Digital Government:

Hamlin, who is board chairman of a national voter registration data project, was honored for his work in implementing a new way for Washington voters to register or make changes to their voter registration via Facebook and an online service

Read more »