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Tag: Andy Hill


Inslee signs tech-spending bill that is stripped of contracting out language

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law Wednesday that aims to bring more security and results from the state’s estimated $1 billion a year outlay for information technology and services.

I’ve written a print story about Senate Bill 5891 for print editions of The Olympian and News Tribune. One high profile element of the bill requires state agencies and universities to have IT security plans and gives the state’s relatively new chief information officer, Michael Cockrill, a leading role in setting standards for that security.

The legislation also creates a purchasing pool for technology projects, lets smaller pilot projects bypass

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CLARIFIED – House budget plan says no thanks to Senate proposal putting part-time workers into Obamacare exchange for health coverage

House Democrats’ latest budget proposal gives in to Senate Republicans on many spending and tax questions, but it holds firm its opposition to the Senate’s plan to shift  part-time school or state employees into the health exchange being opened next year via Obamacare. Washington appears to be the first state to seriously consider the concept as a budget-saving tool.

Rep. Ross Hunter, the Medina Democrat who chairs the budget-writing Appropriations Committee, said the proposal included in the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus budget has problems. It assumes some $127.2 million in savings from giving part time workers a $2 an

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UPDATE – Senate passes bill putting part time state, K-12 workers into health benefit exchanges; Inslee says bill premature but idea may have merit

A controversial bill that puts low-wage, part time workers into the health exchange created by Obamacare won passage by the narrowest of margins in the state Senate this week. Senate Bill 5905 is assumed to save the state $128 million over two years and is a key piece of the Republican-authored Senate’s no-new-taxes budget.

The vote on Monday was 25-to-23 and it needed the votes of two members of the Senate Democratic Caucus – Sens. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam and Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens – to pass. Republican Sen. Pam

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State Federation warns legislators Senate budget carries risks to government function, public safety and safety net

As we reported previously, the Washington Federation of State Employees and other labor groups reacted with a mixture of relief about pay and worry about healthcare after the Senate released its Republican-crafted budget Wednesday. But federation lobbyist Dennis Eagle went further in an email sent Thursday evening to Senate members who may be voting on the $33.2 billion Republican-crafted spending plan later today.

In particular Eagle pointed to $131 million in unspecified “administrative efficiencies” that are among the uncertain financing pieces of the spending plan – not to mention an assumption agencies will have some $120 million

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Senate panel explores value of state-worker wellness programs and collective bargaining for health benefits

A proposal to require state workers to participate in wellness programs as part of receiving state-subsidized health insurance plans got a hearing Thursday. Labor unions opposed both the mandate and a proposal to strip health-care benefits from the pay contracts that workers negotiate with the governor.

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, sponsored Senate Bill 5811, saying he thinks the state must get a handle on health costs triggered by smoking and obesity. In testimony he cited King County’s well-regarded program, which Gov. Jay Inslee cited on the campaign trail last year, as an example of where the state should

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