February 20, 2010

Keep the momentum going; and more Capitol nuggets you need to know.

Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Tell your legislators:
STOP HEALTH CUTS! Tell them to do the right thing. Restore the $300 million in state employee health insurance funds. They created the problem when they underfunded your health plan in 2008. Tell them that only half of that needs to be state funds—the rest would be from federal and other funds.

RAISE REVENUE! SUPPORT ESSB 6130 to amend I-960 and allow majority rule on revenue issues. The House passed ESSB 6130 Wednesday night on a vote of 51-47. It now goes back to the Senate.

CLOSE TAX LOOPHOLES! SUPPORT HB 3176 to close tax loopholes to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

OPPOSE FURLOUGHS! OPPOSE SSB 6503, the state employee furlough bill. Its unintended consequences will cost more, not less.


Nugget No. 1: The Federation urged passage of HB 2751, the member-generated bill to add a labor representative to the boards of trustees of community colleges. The measure would bring boards in line with technical colleges, which already have labor reps. HB 2751 would bring a “new level of equity and collaboration to the governance of community colleges,” the Federation’s Pam Carl told the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee Friday. Carl, who formerly worked at Centralia College, said the labor reps would be a “great aspect and addition” to the boards.

Nugget No. 2: The Federation voiced concerns about a bill mandating certain qualifications for the social work profession—including state social workers. But Federation Lobbyist Alia Griffing told the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee Friday the union will work with committee staff and a social worker professional association to address those concerns. The main problem with 2SHB 1357 is it could potentially end-run the current General Government contract that includes a memorandum of understanding spelling out a process of negotiations for any proposed changes to the social worker job class.

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