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Tag: Karen Fraser


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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UPDATE – Senate approves contracting-out bill for tech services in Enterprise Services agency; chilly reception ahead in House

A bill that would exempt some Department of Enterprise Services employees from competitive contracting passed the Senate on a partisan vote of 25 to 23 on Friday evening. That means they could not offer competing bids if the work they do is farmed out to the private sector.

Senate Bill 5891 was a less far-reaching measure than a contracting out measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane, but it targets technology services, as Baumgartner’s had. “This assumes $15 million in savings, which I believe is conservative,” Baumgartner said Friday.

The lone Democrat voting

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Senate Republicans move ‘lite’ version of state worker pension reform; wellness and contracting out bills also OK’d by budget committee

Facing a deadline this week for passing fiscal bills, the Senate Ways and Means Committee gave approval early Thursday evening to three proposals opposed by state-employee groups.

One proposal, Senate Bill 5851, gives new state employees the option of entering into a 401(k)-style retirement plan, called the Washington Public Employees Savings Plan.

Offered by Republican Sen. Barbara Bailey of Oak Harbor, the concept appears to be a lighter, kinder version of the one pushed by Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, who wants  to force new hires and current state employees younger than 45 into defined contribution

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