February 5, 2010

Furlough bill set for a vote of full House soon; Latest bill to clean up Child Welfare Privatization plan heard in committee; and more Capitol nuggets you need to know


SSB 6503, the anti-state employee bill on furloughs, is set for a vote of the full House soon.

Continue to call the Legislature’s Hotline Message Center at 1-800-562-6000 and urge your two House members to oppose SSB 6503, the state employee furlough bill.  Lawmakers should close tax loopholes before forcing state employees to sacrifice more on top of the $1 billion they’ve already given up to help rebuild our economy.


It’s gotten better, but Sen. Jim Hargrove’s take on tweaks to the pilot privatization projects in DSHS Child Welfare Services still raises major concerns.

That’s the message delivered to Hargrove and his Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee Thursday by the Federation.

Hargrove’s SB 6832 extends some time frames, but the section on contracting out still troubles employees, Jeanine Livingston, the Federation’s contracting compliance director told the committee.

The 2009 law setting up the pilots excluded state employees from bidding for the work under the procedures set up by the Personnel System Reform Act of 2002.

It was understood that exclusion would be lifted in the “clean up bill,” but it was not, Livingston said. Hargrove said there was a commitment to address the issue.

SB 6832 was due out of committee with further tweaks when it hits the full Senate.


Nugget No. 1: The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday passed out SHB 2998, the bill extending the freeze on bonuses and other special pay provisions for Washington Management Service and exempt employees. The bill cleared the House 97-0 on Jan. 28.

Nugget No. 2: Also passing the Senate Ways and Means Committee Thursday was Second SSB 6579, to set up a special committee to study improvements in information technology and systems in state agencies. The committee tacked on the Federation-initiated amendment requiring a front-line state employee be appointed to the committee.

Nugget No. 3: The Senate Ways and Means Committee also held a public hearing on SB 6843 to allow a majority vote for revenue increases, temporarily suspending the super-majority two-thirds requirement enacted by I-960.  

Nugget No. 4: Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women in Medical Lake got unexpected bi-partisan public support at a Thursday hearing in the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee. In a hearing on a sentencing alternative bill, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Lisa Brown, D-3rd Dist., was asked by committee member Sen. Val Stevens, R-39th Dist., if Pine Lodge was closing. Brown responded that she hoped not. “It would be my belief that we should maintain some capacity for women in Eastern Washington…,” Brown said. “I believe it would be good state policy to maintain some capacity there.” “I was just hoping this (sentencing alternatives) doesn’t help them (the Department of Corrections) close it. Because I agree with you I’d hate to see that happen.”

UPDATE:  This is the article mentioned in the comments:
Seattle Weekly:  A Candy Land of Tax Breaks


Anonymous said...

Hope you tell our fellow members about the story in this week's Seattle Weekly, detailing who gets those $14.8 billion in tax breaks - a lot of fat cats.

Everyone at the rally Monday should have a copy of the Weekly in the face of lawmakers!

Anonymous said...


wave a copy of the Weekly in face of legislators

WFSEc28 said...

Here's the link to the Seattle Weekly article: