• Grays Harbor EMS prepping local high schools for new graduation requirement: CPR training

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – New Graduation requirements in Washington will save lives on and off the High School campus, and if they don’t know already, your students will learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation. “They figure the more training they can get, the better for everybody in the public and in school.”
    Sharryl Bell with Grays Harbor EMS said last week that they are working with local schools to make sure that the Class of 2014 knows what to do in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest emergency. “A lot of school like Hoquiam High School has a program set up, Aberdeen [trains] their staff and they are working toward their students. For those that are already doing it in school it’s not a big deal.” Bell said students will also be trained to use Automated External Defibrillators that restart a heart with an electric shock.
    According to the American Heart Association, of the nearly 360-thousand people in the US that suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, only 9.5% survive, often because they don’t receive timely CPR.  Bystander CPR, when given right away, can double or even triple a victim’s chances of survival.
    Substitute house bill 1556 was signed into law earlier this year. Beginning this school year, instruction in CPR must be included in at least one health class necessary for graduation.
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  • AG’s public safety and consumer protection bills to be heard this week

    SB 6202 would provide new protections for vulnerable adults. The bill will be heard by the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee at 10 a.m. today in the John O’Brien Building, Hearing Room E. The bill is sponsored by Sen. James Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, and co-sponsored by Sen. Janéa Holmquist, R-Moses Lake, among others.


    ESHB 2427 would require longer sentences for repeat, felony domestic abusers. The bill, prime-sponsored by Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. today in the J.A. Cherberg Building, Senate Hearing Room 1.


    ESHB 2424 would give law enforcement an additional tool to prosecute those who intentionally access child pornography. The bill, prime-sponsored by Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Seattle, will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the J.A. Cherberg Building, Senate Hearing Room 1.

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  • Kreidler seeks ban on insurers’ use of credit information

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is calling for a ban on the insurance industry’s controversial practice of credit scoring. A hearing on the legislation, HB 2513, is scheduled for tomorrow, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. in Olympia.
    “Thousands of consumers have contacted my office over the last several years complaining about their insurance company’s use of credit scoring,” said Kreidler. “They say, ‘I pay my bills on time, I pay my premium, have never filed a claim or had a ticket – why is my premium going up?’”
    Despite strong consumer protections enacted eight years ago by the Washington state legislature, insurers are relying more and more on credit scores. Today, some even consider your level of education. They take certain information in your credit history and other factors to create an “insurance score.”  The factors they consider and how much weight they assign them vary, making it extremely difficult—if not impossible—for you to understand what steps you can take to improve your score and get a better rate.
    Today, your insurance credit score can impact your auto and homeowners rates by as much as 50 percent. 
    “The industry’s reliance on this tool is startling,” said Kreidler.  “Today, your insurance score can have a bigger impact on your premium than an at-fault accident,” he said. “The insurance industry should be embarrassed that it’s using such an arbitrary and unfair tool like credit scoring.”
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  • AARP Endorses Health Care Bill HR 3962

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The nation’s leading senior’s lobby, AARP, is using its considerable clout in the health care reform debate by endorsing the Affordable Health Care for America Act, set to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives this weekend. This is the first time the group has endorsed a particular bill. Washington state is home to 935,000 of AARP’s 40 million members; the group has determined most of them would benefit if the bill passed.

    Ingrid McDonald, advocacy director for AARP Washington, says protecting Medicare for those 65 and older is one of the group’s top priorities, and she feels this legislation does that.

    "Unless we make some smart changes now to make the program more efficient and viable, it won’t be around for people’s children and grandchildren. This health reform package would secure the program for the future and improve it immediately for current beneficiaries, by closing the ‘donut hole’ and other measures."

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