Tag Archive for Senate Bill

Senate votes to give Washington residents more affordable health-care choices

OLYMPIA… Calling it a relief to citizens who have found themselves without affordable catastrophic health insurance, Sen. Steve O’Ban today led a majority of the Senate in approving Senate Bill 6464. O’Ban, the west Pierce County Republican who sponsored the measure, said it represents hope for people who have lost their medical insurance due to Obamacare.

“I have received hundreds of e-mails, letters and online messages from those who’ve had their insurance policies canceled. In other cases, people in my district have had their deductibles and premiums double. These are real people who are now having a very difficult time finding insurance to cover their families,” said O’Ban, who represents the 28th Legislative District. “230,000 Washingtonians have had their health-care insurance plans canceled after implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and they’ve been unable to replace them.”

SB 6464 would allow Washington residents to buy catastrophic health-care plans in other states. Additionally, it would require the state insurance commissioner – for a period of one year – to approve plans that do not meet the requirements of Obamacare. Also, health carriers could continue offering certain individual or small-group health plans in the market outside of the health-care exchange, regardless of whether the plans meet the requirements of Obamacare.

O’Ban’s measure would bar the insurance commissioner from prohibiting the continuation of these plans – reversing an action taken to prevent residents from purchasing affordable care from other states (even though President Obama allowed states to obtain exemption waivers) – and allow out-of-state carriers to offer insurance products in Washington.

“People are being forced to choose between health care and paying their mortgage,” O’Ban added. “In our state, if you try to find a replacement catastrophic health-care insurance plan there is only one carrier in each county who offers one. That’s not choice, that’s the elimination of choice. With this bill, if you liked your health insurance, we’ll get it back for you.”

SB 6464 could be considered in the House of Representatives in the coming weeks.

Hatfield’s bill designating official oyster passes Senate

Ostrea lurida
The Ostrea lurida is one step closer to becoming the official oyster of Washington state.
The small oyster would earn the designation under Senate Bill 6145, sponsored by Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond. The bill cleared the full Senate on Thursday and now goes to the state House for consideration.
Ostrea lurida, sometimes called the Native or Olympia oyster, is a species native to Pacific Northwest waters and a popular component of Washington’s $270 million shellfish industry. The inspiration for the bill came from Claire Thompson, a student at Olympia’s Nova Middle School. Thompson asked Hatfield to propose the bill as part of a school project and to bring attention to ongoing threats to the state’s waters.
“I’m excited to see this bill move through the process. It’s an opportunity to shed light on an industry vital to our state’s economy and culture,” Hatfield said. “It’s also an excellent opportunity to share a lesson in civics with a young student in our state.”
Ostrea lurida

More jobs expected in Washington after Legislature passes aerospace bills

Bailey, who represents the 10th District, says Senate Bill 5952, which passed the Senate 42-2, and Senate Bill 5953, which passed the Senate unanimously, will extend tax exemptions for aerospace companies through 2040. In addition, the measures would set aside funds for 1,000 new enrollments in high-demand aerospace programs.
“Boeing already employs about 85,000 Washington workers full-time, and that number grows exponentially when you start including the jobs provided by third-party subcontractors and other supplemental employers around the state,” Bailey added.  “With the number of veterans returning to Washington looking for work, it’s a great opportunity to help them and their families – and particularly appropriate that we’re doing it on Veterans Day weekend.
“When we come back to Olympia in January, we’ll need to start looking at ways to expand these kinds of tax incentives to other industries outside of aerospace,” Bailey continued. “Today’s votes are an endorsement of the underlying policy, and now we need to provide other kinds of tax certainty to other businesses so they can grow and create jobs as well.”
If approved by the House, SB 5952 and SB 5953 could be signed by the governor as early as today.

Wash. Governor Inslee accepting applications for Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council

Engrossed Senate Bill 5603 signed by Governor Inslee establishes the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council at the Governor’s office and assigns Department of Ecology as primary staff support to the council. For questions about the council, contact Jennifer Hennessey at [email protected] or 360-407-6595.