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Tag: Ross Hunter


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 – Inslee’s budget outline upholds worker contracts, suspends COLAs for teachers – overall adds $660M-plus for worker compensation

Public sector workers in state government agencies got a boost from Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget outline Thursday, which proposes to honor contracts with some two-dozen worker unions while also raising taxes to pump $1.2 billion in new spending into K-12 public schools. All told, Inslee’s outline supports an increase in employee compensation of more than $660 million – if pay for private home care workers hired through the Medicaid program is included.

On the other hand, Inslee calls for a suspension of Initiative 732 for the third straight budget cycle, canceling cost-of-living raises for teachers. The Washington Education Association criticizes that

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