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Tag: Michael Baumgartner

April
8th

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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Feb.
28th

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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Feb.
26th

Contracting out measure for Enterprise Services draws some critics in Senate hearing

The Senate Ways and Means Committee gave a hearing Tuesday to a bill that would give the state Department of Enterprise Services more leeway in contracting out for software services. Senate Bill 5717 is sponsored by Sen. Michael Baumgartner, who sponsored the agency-consolidation bill in 2011 that created DES through a merger of five agencies into three.

The testimony was mixed – with major state landlords and state employees questioning the need for the measure. TVW carried the hearing here (testimony starts about 2:15 hours in).

But Baumgartner, a Spokane Republican, said

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Feb.
25th

New proposal would end fixed-benefit pensions for younger state workers; unions fighting back at hearing today

A new pension proposal from Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom would use a 401(k)-style benefit option for certain Washington state employees younger than 45 years of age. Senate Bill 5856 gets a hearing at 1:30 p.m. today in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and the Washington Federation of State Employees began denouncing the proposal in an alert to members late Saturday.

The proposal by Tom, a fiscally conservative Democrat from the wealthy enclave Medina, appears to go further than a plan

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Feb.
18th

Bill would take away state worker right to bargain on health benefits, while requiring wellness programs

Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom introduced a bill Monday that would mandate that wellness programs be a part of state employees’ health plans starting on Jan. 1, 2014. Senate Bill 5811 also would strip health-care from the issues that are subject to collective bargaining, and it is fast-tracked for a hearing Thursday afternoon.

One major public-employee union is already crying foul.

“Not only is it an assault on one of our bargaining rights, I think it is an end run around our current bargaining and doesn’t give the current governor a chance to discuss his ideas on

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Feb.
11th

UPDATE: Sen. Baumgartner’s sequel on contracting out targets state Motor Pool, custodians, real-estate brokering

It was only a matter of time until Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner followed up on his 2011 reform bill that consolidated parts of five state agencies and created the Department of Enterprise Services. His sequel removes limits on contracting out for DES and targets the state Motor Pool, custodial services, and real-estate brokering for possible privatizing.

Senate Bill 5717 doesn’t actually require the contracting out of those three services. But it does build on the earlier legislation in specifying that those three activities must be evaluated for potential savings when the Office of Financial Management

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