Feb. 21st is Senior Lobby Day
By Chuck Richards & Tom Lux, Co-Chairs of PSARA Government Relations Committee
The 2013 legislative session begins with some new names on the doors to offices of power. Washington State has a new governor and two legislative chambers ruled by opposing parties. State government has a looming $1 billion deficit, while the state Supreme Court has ruled the state must increase funding for education. Health and human services dread the approaching budget cuts.
Into this mix come members of the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action during Senior Lobby Day on Thursday, February 21st to remind legislators of essential priorities for Washington residents in the years ahead.
Working arm in arm with labor and community allies, we are promoting PSARA’s 2013 Legislative Agenda:
FIRST, support for the Healthy Washington Coalition Legislative Priorities for implementation of the Affordable Care Act which includes:
- Securing the full Medicaid Expansion to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Ensuring affordability and continuity of care for low-income working families by pursuing available affordability programs, such as the Federal Basic Health Option.
- Supporting a broad-based assessment on health care insurers for the administration of the Washington State Health Care Exchange. This will reduce the cost of enrollee premiums and give the exchange a stable and predictable source of financing.
SECOND, support the establishment of a State Investment Trust (aka, a “state bank”) that could create new jobs rebuilding our infrastructure and generate new revenue.
THIRD, support the Caring Across Generations Legislative Priorities:
- Restore cuts and support new investments in home care through the federal Community First Choice Option which provides additional funding to restore recent cuts to home and community-based long-term care services and prevents additional cuts to these Medicaid programs through increased federal matching dollars.
- Ensure all workers are able to take leave to tend to health needs or care for a family member through Family and Medical Leave Insurance and mandated Paid Sick Days.
- Support legislation that facilitates immigrants playing the critical role of caregivers and domestic workers in our communities.
And FOURTH, support for increased revenues to address the need for quality education, protect critical services and the jobs associated with those services and also meet the states obligation to fund pension programs.
- End unjustified tax breaks and reform our tax system.
And, as in years past, PSARA is offering its members transportation to reach Olympia on February 21st. If you haven’t already signed up, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or the PSARA office at (206) 448-9646.